Monday, December 01, 2008
ATHENS, Ga. (Dec. 1, 2008) - The Georgia women's basketball team entered Monday night's contest on the verge of making history, and after walking away with a 77-57 victory over the ETSU Lady Bucs inside Stegeman Coliseum, the Lady Bulldogs did just that as they joined an elite group of collegiate programs.
With the victory, Georgia became only the 10th program in the country to reach the 750-win plateau and improved to 6-1 on the season. The Lady Bucs - who began their first of five straight road games on Monday night - got off to a bumpy start, and fall to 1-4 on the year.
Junior post Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) finished with a season high 15 points and eight rebounds, while Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) - who had to battle with Georgia's powerful post players - ended with 14 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes. Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) kept her streak of scoring in double figures to start the season alive by netting 10 points.
The Lady Bucs kept it close early in the first half as they trailed by three, 11-8, after Belcher nailed a jumper with 15:03 on the clock; however, things quickly went south for ETSU as the size of Georgia changed the complexion of the game. From there, 6-foot-5 center Angel Robinson entered the game and made her presence known, as she helped guide Georgia on a 15-6 run over the next seven minutes, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 26-14 lead with eight minutes left in the half. During the span Robinson scored eight points and contested ETSU's shot attempts by recording one of her two blocks in the half. ETSU never had an answer for the run and Georgia eventually built a 19-point advantage, 42-23, which they carried into the locker room.
For the half, ETSU made only nine of its 32 shot attempts and missed all 10 off its shots from beyond the arc. Georgia was 18-for-34 in the first 20 minutes (52.9 percent), thanks to Robinson's 5-of-5 shooting effort, and she led all scorers at the break with 10 points and eight rebounds. Again the Lady Bulldogs' height advantage showed in the box score, with Georgia leading the battle in the paint, 22 to 10 and held the upper hand in blocks - 5 to 1.
Georgia used the first 10 minutes of the second half to extended its 19-point halftime lead to 25, 57-32, when Robinson laid one in for her 15th point of game. Despite having Thompson showcase a season-best performance it was still not enough to chip into the Lady Bulldog lead. Thompson scored 10 of the first 13 second half points for ETSU, but Georgia still led by 21 after the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native's lay-up with 10:59 remaining the game. The Lady Bulldogs kept the comfortable 20-plus margin intact for the remainder of the contest and ended with the 77-57 win.
Again poor shooting hurt the Lady Bucs' chances for pulling off the upset against the perennial SEC power. For the game ETSU shot a season-low 30.3 percent (20-of-66) and the Lady Buccaneers have yet to eclipse the 40-percent clip on the year. In addition, the Lady Bucs didn't record a 3-pointer, going 0-for-11 in 40 minutes of play. On the other hand, Georgia finished 41.7 percent from the field (30-of-72) and hit three treys. The Lady Bulldogs also outrebounded ETSU, 54-45, and both teams each had 21 second-chance points. Georgia won the war in the paint, 34-30.
Georgia was led by Robinson's 19 points and 15 rebounds, while 10 of the 12 Lady Bulldog players who saw action recorded at least two points.
The Lady Bucs have little time to dwell on this loss as they gear up for their quest of a second straight Atlantic Sun Championship run, beginning Friday evening at Mercer. ETSU's conference-opening tip is set for 5 p.m. inside the University Center.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.