Georgia returned from final exam break looking much more rested than ready.
Georgia guard Jasmine James (10) makes a layup during the Lady Bulldogs' win over Lipscomb on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum. James finished with 18 points.
The unbeaten and No. 6-ranked Lady Bulldogs celebrated the end of the semester with a 93-42 blowout against Lipscomb on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.
“I’m definitely pleased with the way we played, considering we’ve been off from games for about a week now,” Georgia senior Jasmine James said. “We’ve been practicing really hard and working on a lot of things. I think we did a very good job of going out today and actually making those things happen. I wasn’t worried about rust. Coach (Andy Landers) has done a really good job in practice in the last week or week and a half of putting us into game situations. He’s been letting us scrimmage a lot against
the practice players as well as each other. That pretty much keeps you in game mode.”
Georgia scored the first 14 points and coasted in its first game in 12 days. James and freshman Tiaria Griffin each had a game-high 18 points. Anne Marie Armstrong added 15 and Shacobia Barbee had 13 points.
“I thought J.J. (James) and Anne Marie were terrific to start the game,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “J.J. was good defensively, offensively, everything. She was good on the pass, the bounce and the shot. She put pressure on the ball and created turnovers and got runouts. Anne Marie was good with the passing and hit two threes and that helped get things started, especially with (Jasmine) Hassell with two fouls. Those two were right on it and bam, we were off to the races.”
Georgia (11-0) came into the game with the fourth-highest average margin of victory in the country at 27.4 points a game. Lipscomb (1-7) had been outscored by an average of 13.4 points a game going into Sunday.
“I think we played pretty good defense but it can get better,” Griffin said. “But overall, I think we did pretty good job. We practiced every day when we were off from games — every day. So I wasn’t too worried about coming back rusty. It’s a lot better to be playing games now than practicing every day.”
In addition to 13 points, Barbee also had four assists and a team-high eight rebounds. Erika Ford had nine points, seven rebounds and five steals. Griffin added six rebounds and three steals.
“There’s a piece that shouldn’t go unnoticed — the leading rebounders were Cobi (Barbee), Tiaria, Erika — three guards,” Landers said. “That’s pretty impressive. You don’t get rebounds if you’re a guard if you don’t go in there. You’ve got to go in there and get them. There weren’t a lot of rebounds bouncing out and right into somebody’s hands. They went to the boards.”
Georgia dominated the box score as it out-shot Lipscomb 51.4 percent to 30.6 percent from the field. The Lady Bulldogs out-rebounded Lipscomb 46-30 and had 16 offensive boards that it turned into 15 second-chance points. Georgia scored 52 points in the paint and forced 33 turnovers that it turned into 41 points.
“I didn’t think we were going to be rusty,” Armstrong said. “The practices we’ve been having have been really intense with a lot of running and a lot of offensive and defensive sets. We were excited to come out because we’ve been working to improve some things. It was good to get the opportunity to play after such a long break. We were excited to get back out there.”
Lipscomb was led by Hannah Phillips with 11 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs had a comfortable 49-22 lead at halftime and were never seriously threatened. Georgia’s only hiccup in the first half came when Lipscomb went on an 8-0 run midway through the first half. A 3-pointer by Alex Banks pulled Lipscomb within 32-21 with 5:24 left in the first half.
Georgia responded with a 17-1 run to end the first half. A 3-pointer by Erica Ford gave Georgia a 49-22 advantage going into halftime.
Notes: Sophomore forward Krista Donald returned to the bench after missing the fall semester to work on academics. Donald was in uniform but did not play. … Freshman Merritt Hempe was not in uniform and missed her second straight game because of a bruised foot. … Barbee leads Georgia in assists (38), steals (30) and is second in rebounding (47).