First of all…how sensational did the Lady Dawgs look last night? From up in the cheap seats, it looked every bit like Georgia’s finest performance of the season. Absolutely dominant. Secondly…all sincere apologies for no Georgia/LSU game photos this morning. We’ve had some family events come up today that will compress our traveling schedule a good bit…so I simply haven’t had time to process the 150-or-so pictures from last night’s tournament action. If I can cobble together an hour sometime before we leave for Duluth today, I’ll try to get a few of them posted. If not, look for a separate photo gallery of Friday-night action sometime during the day tomorrow.
But that was great stuff last night. As you’ll see once my pictures are up, there was a sizable and enthusiastic turnout from the Lady Bulldog Nation at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. I have to give a special shout-out to the fans with the giant cut-out Lady Dawg heads that they were waving around. Georgia certainly gave them plenty to cheer about. Here’s the official recap of last night’s big win over LSU, courtesy of Georgiadogs.com:
DULUTH, Ga. — All five starters reached double figures in the scoring column as No. 12 Georgia defeated No. 22 LSU, 71-53, in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Friday night. The Lady Bulldogs will now face No. 7 Kentucky in Saturday’s semifinals at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Jasmine Hassell scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor to pace Georgia (25-5). Tiaria Griffin added 15 points (on five three-pointers), Anne Marie Armstrong scored 12, Shacobia Barbee added 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and Jasmine James contributed 10 points.
"I’ve had a really good feeling about them all week," head coach Andy Landers said of his team. "They’ve listened and prepared for this. I was very pleased with the way we started and continued throughout the entire game. It was impressive."
Adrienne Webb scored 16 points to lead LSU (20-11).
The Lady Bulldogs started quickly, with back-to-back threes from Griffin and James giving Georgia a 6-0 lead less than two minutes in. That margin grew to double digits for the first time on a Hassell jumper at the 12:59 mark that made it 15-5. Georgia pushed its advantage to the largest margin of the opening period when consecutive layups by Merritt Hempe and Hassell put the Lady Bulldogs up 29-15.
Georgia held a 14-point edge at 32-18 before LSU scored six straight in a span of 1:14 to pull within eight. The Lady Bulldogs answered with a 8-3 run before Plaisance closed the scoring on a buzzer-beating three.
Hassell and James both reached double digits before halftime, leading the way with 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the opening 20 minutes. That marked Hassell’s team-leading 21st double-figure performance of the season and James’ 19th.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the second stanza much like the first, scoring the first five points of the period to gain their largest lead to that point, 45-30. The margin topped out at 28 points at 69-41 on a Barbee three-point play with 5:06 left.
So…here’s your schedule for today’s SEC Tournament semifinal games:
Saturday, March 9 (All Times Eastern)
Game 10 – #1 Tennessee vs. #4 Texas A&M (4:00 PM)
Game 11 – #2 Kentucky vs. #3 GEORGIA (6:00 PM)
Both games can be seen live on ESPNU. (Check local listings for channel.)
The top four seeds squaring off…that’s as good as it gets. You usually don’t see that many nationally ranked teams playing in the same building on the same night until you get to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. If there’s any way…at all…you can make it down to Duluth this evening, you owe it to yourself not just as a Fastbreaker, but as an NCAA women’s basketball supporter, to be there. Ticket prices are reasonable, the parking’s free, the atmosphere is totally off-the-hook, and the intensity is going to be…well…intense. See you there!