Sunday, February 24, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. --- Andy Landers became just the fourth major college women's basketball coach to record 900 career victories on Sunday as his 13th-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs dispatched Ole Miss, 73-54, at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Jasmine Hassell led the way with game-high tallies of 23 points and 10 rebounds, her fourth double-double in the last five games for Georgia (23-4, 11-3 SEC). Freshmen Shacobia Barbee and Tiaria Girffin added 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Jasmine James dished out a season-high eight assists.
Valencia McFarland flirted with a triple-double for Ole Miss (9-18, 2-12 SEC) with nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs ended much of the drama early, racing to a 13-0 lead over the game's opening 2:57 and never looking back. Georgia led by 13 points and halftime and opened the second stanza with a 12-0 surge that all but guaranteed the victory.
"I'm most happy that our basketball team is now 23-4," Landers said. "To get in out of Oxford with a Southeastern Conference win is a challenge. I'm really pleased with the way we started the game. We sort of separated ourselves for the rest of the day, which was nice. At times, we played good and at times we didn't play so good. Overall, as as basketball team, we did what did what we needed to do to get in and out of here with a win and that certainly was our one and only objective.
"As far as the 900th win, I've been blessed have a lot of great players…assistant coaches…support staff…fans…there are a lot of people of have played a large part in those victories," Landers continued. "I'm thankful for all of them. They have all played a great part in our success through the years."
Barbee opened the game's scoring with a stickback, followed by a runner by Griffin, a layup by James and a three from Griffin that made it 9-0 at the 17:57 mark and forced an Ole Miss timeout. After play resumed, another Barbee layup and a short jumper from Hassell pushed it to a baker's dozen.
The Rebels finally got the scoreboard on McFarland runner with 14:38 left in the half.
Georgia maintained a double-digit lead most of the rest of the period. The Lady Bulldogs' lead topped out at 33-16 before the Rebels scored the final four points of the period.
Hassell and James scored all of the points in the first 3:41 of the second half that pushed the score to 42-2-. The Lady Bulldogs eventually led 63-36 with 5:42 remaining.
Landers' achievement will not be recognized by most national news agencies because the NCAA lists his career win total at 818. Landers garnered 82 wins at Roane State College between 1974-79, a junior college in Harriman, Tenn. The NCAA only counts victories at four-year institutions in its career records.
"I get it," Landers said. "I understand that I am probably the only person who will ever have this situation. It doesn't upset me in any way. But I will say this. I am as proud of the 82 wins at Roane as I am of the victories at Georgia."
Georgia will travel to Starkville to face Mississippi State on Thursday before returning home on Sunday to host Vanderbilt in the regular-season finale next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The first 1,000 fans at that contest will receive Lady Bulldog replica jersey t-shirts.
The Lady Bulldogs' seven seniors – Anne Marie Armstrong, Danielle Bennett, Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James, Ebony Jones, Marisela Rodriguez and Tamika Willis – will be honored during pre-game ceremonies at approximately 12:15.
Single-game reserved seat ticketsare $5 for adults and $3 for children. Single-game tickets are available at the UGA Ticket Office at the Butts-Mehre from 8:30-4:30 weekdays, via georgiadogs.com, by calling the UGA Ticket Office at 877-542-1621 or at the Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off.
UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.