The margin wasn’t as lopsided as the last time Georgia and Texas A&M played.
But the result remained the same.
Georgia’s field goal shooting started out slow, and Texas A&M cruised to a 64-46 win on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.
“I’ve got to give some credit to A&M’s defense but I feel like a lot of it is missing shots that we shouldn’t,” Georgia guard Jasmine James said. “We took more shots than they did, so clearly we got a lot of open shots. But we just didn’t knock them down and that had a lot to do with the outcome.”
Georgia started flat, and Texas A&M administered a 79-38 pounding when the two teams met in the 2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. No. 13-ranked Georgia (16-3, 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference) did not believe it began flat on Sunday. But a succession of missed shots in the first half helped feed Texas A&M’s 39-16 halftime lead on Sunday and the Lady Bulldogs never recovered.
“I don’t think we came out flat,” Georgia forward Anne Marie Armstrong said. “We just lost momentum when we weren’t hitting shots to start. They shot it (51 percent) from the field. Our focus was to stop their post players and I think we did a pretty good job of stopping their post players.
“But their guards shot it really well when they kicked it out to them. They got a lot of open looks and I don’t think our defense was really ready for the way they shot it from outside.”
Georgia shot 16 of 55 from the field (29.1 percent) and failed to have a double-figure scorer for the first time since a 73-46 loss to Stanford in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Jasmine Hassell led Georgia on Sunday with nine points but hit 4 of 14 from the field. Shacobia Barbee and Khaalidah Miller each had seven points.
“I thought in the first half we got good shots,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “Hassell got nice looks inside. Did (Texas A&M’s) height bother her a little bit? You’d have to ask her but it seemed like she was releasing the ball a little early. But I thought we got good looks in the first half. They didn’t go in.”
Texas A&M’s front line included 6-foot-4 Kelsey Bone, 6-1 wing Courtney Williams, 6-1 forward Kristi Bellock and 6-5 center Karla Gilbert. They helped hold Georgia forwards Hassell and Armstrong to a combined 6 of 21 from the field.
“They have a big front line but I just feel like we weren’t knocking down shots,” Georgia guard Erika Ford said. “They’re pretty big and they can get to a lot of shots. But it was more just us not being able to knock down shots.”
No. 20-ranked Texas A&M improved to 14-5 overall and 4-1 in the SEC. Bone began Sunday as the SEC’s top scorer at 18 points a game but Georgia held her to 10 points and eight rebounds. Courtney Walker led the Aggies with 12 points while Bone and Courtney Williams each had 10 points. The Aggies made up the difference by hitting five 3-pointers, all in the first half, that provided the difference in the game.
“That’s what got us,” Landers said. “We did what we wanted to do. We were having success with it. We turned them over a couple of times bam-bam. Then they had to resort to shooting the three which is not what they do. And the nailed five.”
James hit a jumper to pull Georgia within 11-10 with 11:29 left in the first half. Then Texas A&M reeled off 13 straight points, including three consecutive 3-pointers by Peyton Little, Jordan Jones and Courtney Williams to take a 24-10 lead with 5:51 left in the first half.
Georgia momentarily stopped the bleeding with a layup by Anne Marie Armstrong to make the score 24-12. But Texas A&M closed the half with a 15-4 run to take a 39-16 advantage into the locker room.
“(Georgia) shot 29 percent when we were asking for 35 percent,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. “We identified the 3-point shooters and when you don’t hit them early, sometimes you get a little gun shy and they had a couple of wide-open looks that they missed.”
NOTEWORTHY: Georgia outscored Texas A&M 30-25 in the second half. … Shacobia Barbee and Erika Ford led Georgia in rebounding with eight each. … Texas A&M’s bench outscored Georgia 12-0 in the first half but Georgia’s outscored Texas A&M 19-2 in the second half. … Georgia does not play for another week when it faces Florida on Jan. 27.
No. 20 TEXAS A&M 64, No. 13 GEORGIA 46
TEXAS A&M (14-5)
Williams 4-7 0-0 10, Bone 5-8 0-1 10, Bellock 3-7 3-4 9, Pratcher 4-7 0-0 9, Walker 6-10 0-2 12, Little 2-5 1-2 6, Mitchell 0-0 1-2 1, Jones 2-3 0-0 5, Gilbert 0-4 2-4 2. Totals 26-51 7-15 64.
Armstrong 2-7 0-0 4, James 1-9 1-2 3, Griffin 1-5 2-4 4, Hassell 4-14 1-2 9, Barbee 3-6 1-2 7, Miller 2-6 2-2 7, Hempe 0-1 0-0 0, Donald 1-2 4-4 6, Willis 0-1 1-2 1, Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Ford 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 16-55 13-20 46.
Halftime—Texas A&M 39-16. 3-Point Goals_Texas A&M 5-10 (Williams 2-2, Jones 1-2, Little 1-3, Pratcher 1-3), Georgia 1-6 (Miller 1-3, Hempe 0-1, Donald 0-1, James 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Texas A&M 35 (Bellock 9), Georgia 35 (Barbee, Ford 8). Assists—Texas A&M 15 (Pratcher 6), Georgia 7 (Hassell 3). Total Fouls—Texas A&M 19, Georgia 16. A—4,303.