Landers earns win No. 800 as Lady Dogs rout Savannah State

Andy Landers has been so reluctant to talk about an approaching career, he didn’t say one word about it to his players.

Even after he clinched career win No. 800 with Georgia’s 94-57 victory against Savannah State on Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum, Landers deflected individual praise to the Lady Bulldogs program.

This isn’t something that I’ve done, it’s been something that we’ve all done,” Landers said during a postgame ceremony. “I’ve been blessed with terrific assistant coaches through the years. It is not about me. It’s something we can share with everyone who’s touched our program in the last 34 years. We’re fortunate in that we’re at a great place where the administration thinks that women’s basketball is important and we’re thankful for that.”

Landers is just the eighth coach in men’s or women’s basketball to win 800 games at an NCAA Division I program. Landers is now 800-268 in his 34th season at Georgia.

“This is great to be able to be part of that 800th win,” Georgia senior guard Jasmine James said. “That’s a great milemarker for him and for us to be a part of that and go down in history. We’re able to say we were a part of that and to get that 800th win, it was a great thing. Also to play as well as we did to get that win, I’d say he’s a happy man right now.”

Landers did not say anything about the approaching milestone to his team. But the players spilled the beans by writing the magic number on the chalkboard after beating Belmont on Sunday to set the stage for the landmark.

“We were expecting it,” junior guard Khaalidah Miller said. “The other day after we played (Belmont), we put up 799 on the board to make sure that he knew that we knew that we were expecting it. Coach was very laid-back, so when he came in, he just laughed and said, ‘I’m not worried about that.’”

Georgia (5-0) was led by James with 18 points, freshman Tiaria Griffin with 15 points and Hassell with 14 points and seven rebounds. Georgia scored 19 of the first 23 points, never trailed and ran away from Savannah State from the outset.

“He was sweet, but he told us that we still had stuff we had to improve on,” senior Jasmine Hassell said. “He told us to don’t ever get comfortable. He said we needed to, like he would say, ‘Kick the can down the road.’”

Andrietta Thomas led Savannah State (1-2) with 22 points and Ezinne Kalu added 10.

Only seven combined men’s and women’s coaches have won 800 games at the same major college — Pat Summitt (1,098 at Tennessee), Jim Boeheim (892 at Syracuse), Dean Smith (879 at North Carolina), Adolph Rupp (876 at Kentucky), Mike Krzyzewski (857 at Duke), Jim Phelan (830 at Mount. St. Mary’s) and Geno Auriemma (806 at Connecticut).

Landers has also led Georgia to 29 NCAA Tournament bids, 19 trips to the Sweet 16 and made the Final Four five times, including runner-up finishes in 1983 and 1985.

“I think that’s significant,” Landers said. “I think there’s numbers out there that are more significant. You’ve got 800 wins, fine. But those numbers are significant — the second-most ranked team in the country (482 weeks in the AP poll), second-most NCAA Tournaments (29), those are the kind of numbers that you can be proud of. I think they represent who we are.”

Landers’ wasn’t the only milestone a member of the Lady Bulldogs’ passed on Tuesday. Hassell also eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau when she scored 14 points to give her 1,004 in her career.

“To be honest, I didn’t know about it,” Hassell said. “We were in the huddle and people were patting me on the back. I was wondering why they kept patting me on the back. Then somebody told me. It’s a blessing and an honor. I wouldn’t have it without my teammates feeding me the ball. It’s because of them, it’s not because of me.”

Incidentally, Landers also won his 800th overall game against Savannah State in 2009. Landers’ career record includes 82 wins at two-year Roane State, which the NCAA does not count on his Division I victory tally. Landers has 800 wins at Georgia. The other 13 coaches in the Southeastern Conference have a combined 954 wins at their programs.

 

 

No. 8 GEORGIA 94, SAVANNAH ST. 57

SAVANNAH ST. (1-2)

Norman 3-4 2-2 9, J. Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Hogue 0-7 6-8 6, Kalu 3-4 2-4 10, A. Thomas 8-18 4-4 22, Uba 0-6 2-3 2, Cuk 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Kirkland 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor 1-1 0-0 2, Greene 2-2 0-0 4, Frazier 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-46 16-21 57.

GEORGIA (5-0)

James 8-13 2-2 18, Hassell 5-7 4-4 14, Hempe 2-4 0-0 4, Barbee 2-3 0-0 6, Ford 3-11 0-0 6, Miller 2-7 0-0 4, Armstrong 2-5 0-0 4, Griffin 6-10 0-1 15, Willis 3-4 3-5 9, Butler 2-5 3-4 7, Causwell 3-6 1-2 7. Totals 38-75 13-18 94.

Halftime — Georgia 49-26. 3-Point Goals — Savannah St. 5-13 (Kalu 2-3, A. Thomas 2-5, Norman 1-2, J. Thomas 0-1, Uba 0-2), Georgia 5-19 (Griffin 3-6, Barbee 2-3, Hempe 0-1, Armstrong 0-1, Butler 0-1, James 0-2, Ford 0-2, Miller 0-3). Fouled Out — None. Rebounds — Savannah St. 26 (Kalu, Uba 4), Georgia 44 (Hassell 7). Assists — Savannah St. 11 (J. Thomas 5), Georgia 22 (Butler 6). Total Fouls — Savannah St. 20, Georgia 21. A — 2,385.

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