Not much to add here. This is what you play for…March Madness. Here’s tomorrow’s official Georgia/St. Joseph’s game preview, courtesy of Georgiadogs.com:
Georgia vs. St. Joseph’s
- UGA is making its 31st NCAA Tournament appearance and 20th consecutive trip to "March Madness"
- UGA is meeting Saint Joseph’s, its NCAA first-round foe, for the first time ever
- UGA has secured its 29th 20-win year in Andy Landers’ 35 seasons at UGA
- Khaalidah Miller has climbed from No. 36 to No. 22 among UGA’s career scoring leaders this season
- Shacobia Barbee is the only player in the SEC – and one of seven Division I wbb players nationally – to lead her team in ppg, rpg, apg and spg
Lady Bulldogs Return To NCAAs
Any suspense there might have been about the NCAA Tournament fate of the Georgia Lady Bulldogs ended pretty quickly Monday night. About 45 seconds after the unveiling of the bracket began, Georgia appeared as the No. 8 seed in the Lincoln Regional.
The Lady Bulldogs will take on ninth-seeded Saint Joseph’s at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Host and top-seeded Connecticut will face Prairie View A&M in the second game of the day at approximately 8:00 p.m. ESPN will televise both contests, with Dave O’Brien and Debbie Antonelli handling the play-by-play and color analyst responsibilities, respectively.
Sunday’s contest will represent the first-ever match-up between the Lady Bulldogs and Saint Joseph’s.
The Lady Bulldogs enter their 31st all-time NCAA Tournament with a 20-11 record, the 29th 20-win campaign during Andy Landers’ 35 seasons on the sidelines in Athens. Georgia finished Southeastern Conference play with a 7-9 mark and in a five-way tie for sixth in the league standings.
This season, Georgia raced to an 11-0 start – equaling the seventh-best beginning in school history – and climbed as high as No. 15 in the national polls before losing five of its next six and starting SEC play 0-4 for the first time ever. The Lady Bulldogs are 8-6 since, including a quintet of victories over "March Madness" participants – Florida (twice), Kentucky, LSU and Vanderbilt.
Shacobia Barbee paces a trio of guards averaging double figures for Georgia. Barbee actually leads the Lady Bulldogs – average wise – in scoring (12.3 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg), assists (3.2 apg) and steals (an SEC-best and No. 19 nationally 2.7 spg). Khaalidah Miller and Erika Ford offer identical 10.7 ppg scoring averages for UGA.
Saint Joseph’s sports a 22-9 overall record and finished 10-6 and tied for fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Hawks also feature three double-digit scorers in Erin Shields (14.9 ppg), Sarah Fairbanks (12.9 ppg) and Natasha Cloud (11.5 ppg). Cloud leads Saint Joseph’s and ranks No. 2 nationally in assists (7.8 apg) and tops the Hawks’ rebounding efforts (6.7 rpg).
Keeping an eye on…entering today’s game:
Khaalidah Miller is…
- 105 points from No. 21 Camille Lowe among UGA’s career leaders
- 44 3-point FGAs from Cori Chambers’ UGA career record
- 35 3-point FGs from No. 2 Kedra Holland-Corn among UGA’s career leaders
Quoting Coach Landers…
On making a 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament…
"It’s what everybody dreams about, playing in the big show and the NCAA Tournament. It’s what players aspire to do. It’s what coaches aspire to do. It’s what your fans want to see you do. To have been able not only to play in 20 in a row, but to play well and advance has been a real joy."
On being a No. 8 seed…
"I think the challenge becomes a little greater, as it should. The lower seed that you are the greater the challenge in the earlier rounds. There are always challenges. Normally, those hit for a higher seeded team later in the tournament. We understand that; that’s part of it. We, as anyone else, would have loved to been a No. 1 but our play, our body of work in the regular season, didn’t drive us there so this is where we are and now is the time to make the very most of this situation."
On the strength of the SEC this season…
"Our conference was the No. 1 RPI conference in the country…very competitive from top to bottom. In all my years at Georgia, this is easily the most competitive the conference has been from top to bottom. I think there have been years when we had more great teams than we had this year, and I think we’ve had years when our best teams were better than the best teams this year but there’s never been a year where there’s been so many good teams that could and did beat each other."
On facing Saint Joseph’s…
"You’re talking about a very good basketball team. This is a basketball team that I think is driven by guard play, two outstanding guards, but is very balanced throughout the lineup, with two very capable forwards and excellent wings and depth. They probably employ movement in the half court more than any team we’ve played all year long. This is a team that likes to cut, screen and get to the basket."
FASTBREAK CLUB TV-WATCH PARTY: Your Fastbreak Club pals will be gathering at Buffalo’s Southwest Café (located at 196 Alps Road in Athens) to watch all the Georgia/St. Joe’s March Madness on the big screen. Get there early (before the scheduled 5:30 PM tip-off) if you want to throw down a little dinner before the game. As always, any food and drinks are on your tab…we provide you with the fun and fellowship. See you there!
We’ll have a Georgia/St. Joseph’s game recap and web links posted right here sometime late tomorrow night.