Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lady Dawgs Fall To Tigers


Georgia failed on 12 attempts to tie or take the lead in the second half at LSU on Sunday, eventually falling to the Lady Tigers 47-41 at the Maravich Assembly Center.

"You're talking about two teams that can guard you," Andy Landers said. "I thought we guarded them very well. They guarded us a little better than we guarded them. They got to the offensive boards 18 times so many times we did an excellent job and then just didn't get clean up with the rebound. And then you have to try to defend them for another 30 seconds."

Jasmine Hassell scored a game-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field to place Georgia (16-5, 6-2 SEC). Katherine Graham led LSU (15-8, 5-4 SEC) with 14.

"I thought Hassell was great when she got the ball inside, and I thought our guards were great getting the ball to her when they tried to do so," Landers said.

LSU led 27-21 at halftime and scored on its opening possession of the second half before a 7-0 surge pulled the Lady Dawgs within one at 29-28 with 17:19 left.

Georgia then failed to convert on 10 opportunities to tie or take the lead over the next 5:08.

"We got some good looks, and we had the right people getting those looks," Landers said. "I thought we executed very well during most of that stretch. Some of the shots really looked good as they were going, but we couldn't get any of them to fall."

The Lady Tigers converted on consecutive possessions to expand their lead to 36-30 at the 9:41 mark.

Tamika Willis answered for Georgia, scoring five straight to close the gap back to one at just 1:42 later.

The Lady Dawgs then missed two more chances to take a lead before a Latear Eason lay-up started a 9-5 run to end the game.

The Lady Tigers opened up a 14-7 lead just over five minutes into the contest and controlled the scoreboard for the remainder of the period. LSU's lead topped out at 23-12 with 3:58 left in the half before the Lady Dawgs scored nine of the final 13 points to trim the margin to 27-21.

Georgia missed on a chance to close the gap even further. A Tamika Willis steal at midcourt led to a Jasmine James three-point attempt that rimmed out. Phillips grabbed the rebound but could not get a shot off before the horn sounded.

Georgia will now return to Athens for a three-game home-stand with games against Arkansas on Thursday, Alabama next Sunday and Vanderbilt next Thursday.

The first 1,000 youth eighth grade and younger at the Alabama game will receive a replica Lady Dawg jersey.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pastor Of Disaster


Ray Drew, the “Pastor Of Disaster,” is a Dawg, the 18 year old ordained minister committed to the Dawgs this morning in Thomasville.

Drew standing alongside former Dawgs David Pollock and Randall Godfrey said he made his decision about three weeks ago and related how the most difficult part of the process was notifying the coaches of the schools that he declined.

The 6-5, 255 pound linebacker is a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense that the Dawgs installed last season, Drew will line up at the weakside outside linebacker position that junior Justin Houston just vacated. Drew is rated as the number one player in the state of Georgia and the number nine player nationally by Rivals.

Drew is the 23rd member of the “Dream Team” and challenged UGA’s remaining prospects to get on board, he has been actively recruiting for the Dawgs the past few weeks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lady Dawgs Win Streak Snapped


South Carolina snapped No. 20 Georgia's seven-game overall and five-game road winning streaks on Thursday night, defeating the Lady Dawgs 57-48 at Colonial Life Arena.

After Georgia (16-4, 6-1 SEC) failed on an attempt to tie the game with 5:41 remaining, the Gamecocks (12-9, 4-4 SEC) outscored the Lady Dawgs 14-7 the rest of the way.

Jasmine James led Georgia with 15 points, while Porsha Phillips added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Courtney Newton paced South Carolina with 16 points, including a 5-of-5 effort from three-point range.

"She was 5-of-5 from three-point range, which was money," head coach Andy Landers said. "Right there, she accounted for more than 25 percent of their offense for the entire game with five shots."

Meredith Mitchell missed an elbow jumper with South Carolina leading 43-41, and Newton answered with a three on the other end to extend the margin to five. Georgia never got within a single possession the rest of the game.

Neither team gained much of an advantage in the first 20 minutes.

The Lady Dawgs started the contest with a 6-1 lead to secure the largest edge of either team in the half before South Carolina answered with an 8-0 run to earn its biggest lead of the period at 9-6.

The half eventually featured two ties and five lead changes, lastly when the Gamecocks went ahead 25-23 on a three by Ieasia Walker with 35 seconds left to provide the final points of the stanza.

"I really thought we missed some chances early that could have put us up," Landers said. "We missed some really good looks inside and some times we settled for 10- or 12-foot jumpers when we probably could have gotten closer to the hole."

Phillips moved past the 1,000-point scoring mark early in the second half. She knocked down a 12-foot jumper with 15:34 remaining in the game to surpass 1,000. Phillips scored 143 points as a freshman at LSU in 2006-07 and has now scored 860 in her three seasons at Georgia.

The Lady Dawgs will travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU in at 5 p.m. in an ESPN2 nationally televised contest. After that, Georgia will return to Athens for a three-game home-stand with games against Arkansas, Alabama and Vanderbilt.

Reserved seat tickets for the Lady Dawg games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Those are available at the Butts-Mehre ticket office from 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday and via the internet at In addition, tickets will go on sale at the Stegeman Coliseum box office (on the side of arena closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 90 minutes before tip-off.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Road Trip

Trying to catch up after being out on the road for the past three weeks. I added many of the stories that have been piling up and will be out another couple of weeks before I have time to add many more.

Signing day is just around the corner.

Dream Team Additions


The 2011 recruiting class for the Dawgs got a huge boost this past week with the addition of Valdosta teammates Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell.

Rome is considered the number one tight end in the country by at least one recruiting service and the 6-5, 255 pound athlete is expected to see immediate playing time this fall. Rome’s father Stan was a two sport star at Clemson in the late 70’s, he played four seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. Rome chose the Dawgs over Clemson.

Mitchell is rated as the number one corner in the state and the 6-1, 187 pound speedster has all the tools necessary to push for playing time this season. Mitchell is likely to see some snaps at receiver and may be used as a kick returner on special teams.

Carver’s Quintavious Harrow becomes the seventh defensive back in the class as the 6-0, 190 pound safety quickly accepted the offer from Coach Mark Richt to become a Dawg.

Earlier this month the Dawgs received verbal commitments from receiver Sanford Seay (6-2, 198) from Leesburg, Georgia along with defensive back Damian Swann (6-0, 175) from Atlanta’s Grady High School. Tampa Florida’s Ramik Wilson had become one of the states most recruited linebackers before announcing his intention of becoming a Dawg on the 7th.

With these latest additions, the Dream Team total is up to 21 with only a few days remaining before National Signing Day on February 2nd. With three or four remaining scholarships available, the primary targets are running back Isaiah Crowell from Columbus, linebacker Ray Drew from Thomasville, nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins from Gulf Coast Community College and offensive tackle Xzavier Ward from Moultrie.

The Dawgs would like to sign and are still recruiting Griffin star Xzavier Dickerson following his commitment to Alabama last week.

Real Dawgs Win


The Georgia men’s basketball team started its Saturday matinee on an 11-2 clip and never looked back in an 86-64 win over Mississippi State inside Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia got balanced scoring in 17 points apiece from Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson, 15 from Trey Thompkins, and 11 from Jeremy Price. MSU guard Dee Bost led all scorers with 20 points, but the most telling stat of the game was rebounding, as Georgia more than doubled up the other Bulldogs, 48-23, on the glass.

Georgia improves to 14-4 (3-2 SEC) and Mississippi State falls to 10-8 (2-2). Today was Georgia’s sixth outing scoring 80 or more points this season, and their second-highest output of the season behind last week’s 98 scored on Ole Miss.

“I’m certainly happy to win and am pleased with the end results today,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We didn’t show any tape of the last game against Tennessee, we just moved onto this one and were fortunate to play well and get the win.”

“I think we are a pretty efficient offensive team. I think everyone on our starting five has had at least 20 points or more at some point this season. One of the things that was important to us is to have balance. Thompkins and Price needed to make some shots to start league play because they have been so surrounded. Gerald, Dustin Ware and Sherrard Brantley have shot the three well, especially today. We have had some threes open up because our inside play was so effective in December. January has opened up some three point shooting and fortunately for us, those kids have made some.”

The host Dawgs got out to its 11-2 run early on, capped by a three for Ware with 17:09 on the clock in the first half. That set the tone as Georgia was 6-of-10 from long range in the opening period, including a trey from Brantley that put UGA up by 16, 24-8, with 12:31 left.

Georgia continued to stay hot from three, as Ware sank another one with 4:25 to play in the first to give the Dawgs their largest lead of the half at 19, 38-19. Following a lay-up for Bost that brought MSU to within 11, Robinson ended the period with a lay-up that gave Georgia a 13-point lead, 42-29, at the break.

A 7-0 run for the red and black Dawgs put Georgia in front by 21, 59-38, with 12:49 remaining on a Robinson lay-up, and after Bost hit a three with 11:21 on the clock Georgia scored the next five points to make it another 21-point advantage.

Back-to-back threes from Ware and Marcus Thornton made it 25, 70-45, with 8:26 left.

The closest Mississippi State would get from there on out would be 16, at 76-60, with 4:52 to play as Renardo Sidney was good from the free throw line, and Georgia pushed it back to a 20-point margin when and kept it there as Leslie hit a late lay-up through the lane in traffic and Barnes made one from the stripe with 1:33 to go to cap it at 22, where it remained.

Georgia ended shooting 11-of-19 from beyond the arc for a 58 percent shooting day there. The Dawgs shot 49 percent overall.

Georgia brought itself closer in the all-time series vs. MSU, now 50-52 vs. the maroon Bulldogs.

The Dawgs today continued their three-game home-stand, which will end Tuesday night as Florida makes the trip to Stegeman for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Dawgs In School


Two members of the 2011 signing class are already enrolled and attending classes at UGA.

Quarterback Christian LeMay and receiver Chris Conley have joined the team for off season workouts and will be entering spring practice looking to impress their position coaches. Both players will formally sign national letters of intent on February 2nd.

LeMay is a 6-2, 200 pound athlete from Matthews, North Carolina that will compete for a back-up slot at QB with sophomore Hutson Mason.

Conley is from North Paulding High School in Douglas, Georgia and the 6-3, 180 pound receiver will add much needed depth to a position with only 5 returning players with game experience.

Brooks Named Director Of Internal Operations


University of Georgia Director of Football Operations Josh Brooks has been named Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Operations according to an announcement by Director of Athletics Greg McGarity.

Brad Hutcherson, Program Coordinator with the offensive football staff since spring, 2009, has been named to replace Brooks as Director of Football Operations, according to head coach Mark Richt.

“When you do excellent work good things happen and that is the case with the job Josh Brooks did with our football staff as Director of Football Operations,” said Richt.  “Greg McGarity noticed his good work and has provided him a great career opportunity with this administrative position. This is also the case with Brad Hutcherson who has been working with our football program for the last six years.  His good work has resulted in the Director of Football Operations job.  I am thrilled with both appointments.”

A native of Hammond, La., Brooks just completed his first season as Director of Football Operations after two years as assistant director. In his role he has been responsible for assisting head coach Mark Richt in all football administrative duties including team travel, roster management, and community service projects.  He has also served as the liaison with the business and compliance offices as well as other university areas.

Brooks came to UGA from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in 2008 where he served as Director of Football Operations. He began at ULM as a graduate assistant coach on offense in 2002, and later moved to defense. He was promoted to Director of Football Operations in 2004.

Brooks gained experience as a student at LSU, working as an equipment manager and a student assistant coach.  He graduated from LSU in 2002 with a degree in Kinesiology. He and his wife, the former Lillie Harrell, have twin sons, Jackson and James, born in July, 2009.

Hutcherson, a native of Savannah, became a student assistant with the UGA offensive staff in 2005.  During his time with the Dawgs, Georgia captured the 2005 SEC championship and has won four bowl games.  Georgia has also won 54 games during the time he’s worked with the Dawg staff.

A graduate of Savannah (Ga.) Christian High School, Hutcherson earned his degree in Sport Management from UGA in December, 2008.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lady Dawgs Roll Tide


Freshman Khaalidah Miller scored 12 points and Meredith Mitchell, playing an hour from her hometown of Midfield, added 10 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 24 Georgia (15-3, 5-0 SEC) to a 60-51 win over Alabama (11-8, 0-6 SEC) on Thursday night.

Porsha Phillips added 11 rebounds and eight points, while Anne Marie Armstrong chipped in eight points and equaled her career high with eight boards.

The Lady Dawgs built an 18-point, second-half lead and withstood a late Alabama rally that trimmed the margin to six with less than a minute remaining.

After leading by six at halftime, the Lady Dawgs outscored Alabama 20-8 over the first 9:11 of the second stanza to go up 45-27.

"I though we played very hard all night, and I'm pleased with the win," head coach Andy Landers said. "At the start of the second half, we did a nice job getting out in transition and scoring some quick points. At the same time, I thought we did a nice job in transition defense. I can't remember them scoring in transition all night."

Georgia led by 18 four times during the period, lastly at 52-34 at the 6:16 mark.

A Tierney Jenkins lay-up initiated a 15-6 surge that brought the Tide within single digits at 56-47 with 2:27 on the clock. Alabama closed within six on a Jenkins lay-up with 43 seconds left.

Jasmine James sank both ends of a one-and-one with 34 seconds remaining to give Georgia breathing room.

The Lady Dawgs controlled the scoreboard for most of the contest. Kaneisha Horn and Jenkins scored 11 points as Alabama opened up a 13-4 lead to start the game.

A three-pointer from Mitchell at the 13:56 mark jumpstarted a 12-0 Georgia surge over the next 2:22 that put the Lady Dawgs ahead 16-13.

Georgia expanded its lead to eight at 25-17 on a short jumper by Ronika Ransford with 52 seconds remaining before an Alicia Mitcham stick-back cut it to 25-19 at the break.

The Lady Dawgs will return home this Sunday to host Mississippi State at 3 p.m., an hour later than their traditional Sunday tip time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dribble Dawgs Lose At The Buzzer


Tennessee grabbed a rebound and put up a second-chance lay-in that made it just under the wire and the Georgia men’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker with under a second left, falling 59-57 to the visiting Volunteers Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum.

With the score knotted at 57 apiece and Tennessee holding with the shot clock unplugged, Tobias Harris let loose on a three from the corner with two seconds left and Brian Williams corralled the rebound and put up the follow with less than one tick on the clock, giving the Vols the two-point lead, 59-57, as time expired. The officials had to consult the replay to determine if Williams got the shot off in time, and it was ultimately ruled the game-winner.

Georgia falls to 13-4 (2-2) with the loss, while Tennessee improves to 12-6 with the same 2-2 conference record.

Georgia’s leading scorers on the day were Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson each with 14 points, while Trey Thompkins had 13. UT’s Harris and Scotty Hopson each had 15 to lead the way for the Vols.

“That was a difficult loss,” said head coach Mark Fox. “Tennessee made more plays than we did. They made one more, for sure. There are going to be a lot of battles in this league. We just didn’t make enough plays tonight, plain and simple.”

“We knew they were going to take the last shot. The shot clock is off and as we have been taught to do, you defend, force a miss and secure the rebound. We did everything including blocking out. We just didn’t secure the rebound.”

The back-and-forth contest saw 11 lead changes in addition to nine ties, the last of which was at 57-57 with just 59 seconds left after Georgia’s Dustin Ware sank a game-tying three that brought the Stegeman crowd of 10,523 to its feet. But that would be the Dawgs’ final attempt as the Vols were able to work for the last shot on their final possession.

Neither team was able to build a lead larger than seven all night, with Georgia up by that margin with 7:56 to go in the first half and Tennessee taking its largest lead of five with 1:30 to go in the first. The margin was no greater than four all second half.

After UT took a 35-33 lead into the locker room at the break, Georgia immediately tied it with a lay-up for Thompkins in the first minute of the second frame. Tennessee would lead by four, 47-43, with 7:58 to play in the second half, before Leslie slammed home a dunk and added a lay-up on consecutive UGA possessions. The junior then hit a free throw to round out his personal 5-0 run and push Georgia back in front, 48-47, with 6:44 on the clock.

The ballgame was locked for the eighth time, 50-50, before the Vols dashed back in front by two on a tip-in for Tobias with 4:52 left. Georgia’s Sherrard Brantley drained a three with just 3:03 to go that give the Dawgs a one-point lead, 54-53, but Josh Bone answered with a jumper and Williams hit a lay-up with 1:31 to play that gave Tennessee a three-point lead, 57-54. That set up the Ware three to tie, but it was countered by Williams’ late-game heroics as UT used every last second in earning the two-point road win.

Tennessee now leads the all-time series between the SEC rivals by a 91-52 count, but Georgia still holds a 34-33 edge at home.

Tonight began Georgia’s three-game home-stand as the team will remain in Athens to take on Mississippi State on Saturday, January 22 at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Dawgs are then home again next Tuesday, January 25, to tackle Florida for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lady Dawgs Ranked


The Georgia Lady Dawgs returned to the Associated Press poll on Monday at No. 24, the program's 455th appearance in the weekly rankings.

The Lady Dawgs are in the midst of a five-game winning streak that has improved their record to 14-3 overall. Georgia is 4-0 in SEC play and is one of two undefeated teams remaining in the league standings.

"I think we played our way back into the rankings, which is satisfying," head coach Andy Landers said.

Georgia won at No. 10 Kentucky last Sunday and at No. 20 Arkansas on Thursday. The Lady Dawgs are the only team in this week's poll to win successive games on the road against AP-ranked opposition during the 2010-11 season.

The victory over Arkansas was the 800th in the history of Lady Dawg Basketball, making Georgia just the 10th Division I women's basketball program to reach the milestone.

The Lady Dawgs began the season at No. 19 and climbed as high as No. 17. Georgia was ranked in the first five polls before dropping out on December 13.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lady Dawgs Beat Gators


The Georgia women’s basketball team overcame a 16-point second-half deficit, propelled by a 13-0 run down the stretch, to come away with a 70-64 win over Florida Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum. The win was Georgia’s fifth straight, following Thursday night’s win at Arkansas – the program’s 800th all-time victory.

After going 0-for-2 from three in the first half, the Lady Dawgs went 6-of-12 from long range in the second, including three in the final four minutes.

Georgia improves to 14-3 (4-0) to remain perfect in the league play, while the Gators fall to 12-7 (2-3). The Lady Dawgs are now 45-12 all-time vs. the SEC foe, including a 24-3 clip in Athens and a 45-9 mark under head coach Andy Landers.

“This was a good one today,” Landers said. “I’m not proud or pleased with the way we started the game. I thought we were slow and we seemed unmotivated. But as the second half started, I think we determined that we were going to fight to earn a win, and fight they did. I’m really proud of that, and I may be even a little more proud of our fans and the lift that they gave us in the second half.”

“The tough thing about being behind is being behind. When you are there for a long time it starts to wear on you. The neat thing about today was once we started coming back, it was real methodical. The toughest thing I think for a team to handle is when you come back and you don’t score and go down again. That is difficult. But for us, whatever fatigue they were feeling went away when we went up one. We were energized at that point to kick it on home.”

Georgia shot just 29 percent from the floor in the first half as Florida established a 13-point advantage, 37-24, at the break.

After a Florida three-pointer pushed the visitors’ lead to 12, at 56-44, Georgia kick-started its late run. It began with a jumper from Meredith Mitchell with 8:04 left. A three from Jasmine James with just under six minutes left cut the UF lead to just five, 56-51, and Mitchell followed that with a steal down the other end that she capped with a lay-up in transition to make it just a three-point deficit.

Mitchell would hit a lay-up to pull it to within one, 56-55, and another Florida turnover preceded a Tamika Willis lay-up that gave Georgia its first lead since they went up 2-0 on the first score of the game.

Florida was held without a field goal until there was 2:55 on the clock, snapping what was over a six minute drought for the Gators. Georgia took a six-point lead, 66-60, on back-to-back threes from Mitchell and James with 1:15 left. Florida cut it back to three on a lay-up for Jaterra Bonds, but late free throws pushed it safely back to six as Georgia came away with the comeback in front of 4,995 patrons.

All told, James led the Georgia charge with 18 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from three. She also chipped in four assists in a full 40 minutes of play. Mitchell (season-high 15 points) and Phillips (10) also found double figures. Florida’s Deana Allen was the Gators’ leading scorer with 14 points, which she added to 13 rebounds to finish with the double-double.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Houston Will Enter The Draft


DSC_6013University of Georgia junior linebacker Justin Houston has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL draft.

“I want to thank the University of Georgia and the coaches for giving me the chance to come to UGA,” said Houston.

“Without Coach Mark Richt, I would not be where I am today. He has helped me grow from a boy to a grown man during my four years. It was a very hard decision to make but in the end, I had to do what’s best for my family and me. Thanks to all of the fans who were behind us the whole time I was in Athens.”

“Justin is a great person and great player and we’ll miss him,” said coach Mark Richt. “He’s been an integral part of our team the past three years. We wish him nothing but the best as he moves into this next phase of his football career and I’m certain he’ll be successful.”

Houston, a Butkus Award and Nagurski Award finalist, was the team’s third leading tackler in 2010 with 67 tackles. He also was second in the Southeastern Conference in sacks with 10 (average .77 per game). For his career, he recorded 125 total tackles, 20 sacks and 38 tackles for loss. His 20 sacks ranks seventh in the Georgia record-book.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dribble Dawgs Ranked


The Georgia basketball team is breathing some rarified air these days.

A home victory over 10th-ranked Kentucky, boosting their overall record to 12-2, has vaulted the Dawgs into the weekly Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in almost eight years.

Georgia checks in at No. 24 in the poll with 145 points, just ahead of No. 25 Cincinnati. Not since March 10, 2003 has a Georgia team been ranked nationally, when that Dawg team was 21st in the final regular-season poll. The 2003 Georgia squad spent the entire SEC schedule in the Top 25, reaching as high as 15th.

“I think that it (being ranked) is great recognition for our program and it’s great for our fans,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I don’t know that it makes a whole lot of difference to our team, though. We still have a lot of tough games to play.”

This latest ranking marks the 15th season in which Georgia has ever been among the nationally-ranked teams. The program’s highest-ever ranking was achieved in the poll of December 11, 1990, when the Dawgs were ranked 11th.

The Dawgs have won an SEC-best nine straight games, the longest win streak for the program since the Final Four-bound team of 1983 started its season with a 9-0 mark. No Georgia team since the 1947-48 season has won 10 games consecutively.

Miller Named Freshman Of The Week


Georgia's Khaalidah Miller was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second straight week on Monday.

Miller scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Lady Dawgs to a 61-59 win at No. 10 Kentucky on Sunday in Georgia's only game of the week.

Miller's output represented the most points scored by a Lady Dawg in a game this season. The 5-9, freshman from Atlanta's Douglass High School connected on 10-of-14 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.

Georgia grabbed a 16-14 edge on a Miller layup in transition with 11:57 remaining in the first half and Kentucky never led again. The Wildcats did tie the game four times during the second stanza. On three of those occasions, Miller responded with a bucket to return the lead to the Lady Dawgs.

In two SEC games, Miller is averaging 19.5 points per game by hitting 62.5 percent of her shots from the floor and an almost unfathomable 81.8 (9-of-11) percent from three-point range.

All told, seven different Georgia freshman have combined to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors 17 times since the award's inception in 2006.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lady Dawgs Defeat Cats


Freshman Khaalidah Miller scored a career-high 24 points and Porsha Phillips added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Georgia (12-3, 2-0 SEC) to a 61-59 victory over No. 10 Kentucky (11-4, 0-2) on Sunday afternoon.

Miller connected on 10-of-14 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Meredith Mitchell chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists and a pair of blocks.

Victoria Dunlap led Kentucky with 17 points, and A'dia Mathies contributed 17.

Georgia shot 50 percent for the game and limited the Wildcats to 29.5 percent.

"I thought we showed flashes of brilliance but we've got to be more consistent," Andy Landers said. "Defensively, we were very good. We held a Kentucky team that averages nearly 80 points to under 60."

The Lady Dawgs never trailed from the 11:57 mark of the first half but withstood five ties in the second half.

The Lady Dawgs used a 13-0 run to gain the game's first substantial lead at 25-14 with 5:43 on the clock. Anne Marie Armstrong scored five of the first seven points in the surge that covered 8:07.

A Dunlap jumper inside the key ended the spurt and ignited an 8-0 Kentucky run over the next 3:36 that pulled the Wildcats within 25-22 with 2:26 left in the half.

Georgia responded with a 9-2 run of its own that pushed the Lady Dawgs back to a 33-24 advantage with under a minute left in the period before Kentucky scored the final five points of the stanza to make it 33-29 at intermission.

The contest marked the third time this season that Georgia built a substantial first-half road lead but couldn't maintain the margin. The Lady Dawgs led by 11 at Southern Cal and 16 at TCU before allowing both teams to close those gaps at the break.

Kentucky finally knotted the score at 43-43 after Brittany Henderson put back a Keyla Dunlap missed free throw with 9:29 left.

Miller answered with a long two but the Wildcats immediately tied the score at 45-45. Miller then hit a three-pointer, but Kentucky answered with a triple of its own.

A Phillips three at the 6:06 mark put Georgia up 51-48 and the Lady Dawgs gradually built a 56-50 lead with 3:41. Kentucky again rallied and tied the game at 56-56 on a Dunlap layup just over a minute later.

Miller canned yet another three-pointer and Ronika Ransford put in a breakaway layup to put Georgia up 61-58. Dunlap missed the second of two free throws with 34 seconds left to make it 61-59.

The Lady Dawgs turned the ball over with 25 seconds left but forced a missed layup by Mathies. After Ransford missed the front end of a one-and-one with 6.6 seconds left, but Mathies driving layup rimmed out as time expired.

"We need to continue to develop out depth," Landers said. "I'd like to have eight players I could consider starters. I think we need to be able to go to the bench more and be better and more productive when we do. I think fatigue entered some of our errors toward the end."

The victory marked the second top-10 home winning streak Georgia has ended this season. Kentucky had won 25 straight at Memorial Coliseum dating back to a Lady Dawg victory there two seasons ago. That was the seventh longest current streak. On December 22, Georgia snapped a 27-game home string at TCU which at the time was fourth longest in the nation.

Georgia will travel to Arkansas on Thursday for a CSS regionally televised matchup that tips off at 9 p.m. ET.

The Lady Dawgs will then return home to host Florida next Sunday at 2 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. The first 1,000 kids (8th grade and below) in attendance will receive a Lady Dawg Basketball puzzle.

Green To Enter Draft


DSC_7363University of Georgia junior wide receiver A.J. Green said Sunday he has decided to pass up his senior season and declare for the NFL draft.

Green, a native of Summerville, South Carolina, played in 32 games over the past three years as a Dawg, starting 27 of them. He recorded 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns.

“While it was a difficult decision, it came down to the opportunity of pursuing a dream I’ve had since early childhood,” said Green. “But Georgia is a great place and I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to be a Dawg. I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and the fans who have supported me and helped me grow not only as a player but as a man.”

Green also indicated he has only two semesters of school left to graduate and intends to work on that as well.

DSC_6211“A.J. has made an immeasurable impact on our team over the past three seasons and we wish him nothing but the best,” said coach Mark Richt. “I’ve enjoyed the blessing of working with him and getting to know his family and we wish him all the success in professional football. Once a Dawg always a Dawg.”

On a personal note, there could not be a nicer person to interview than A.J., he was and always will be one of my favorite Dawgs. Thanks for the gloves #8.

Sturdivant Staying


DSC_5656University of Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant will remain at UGA for his senior season according to a statement from the Wadesboro, North Carolina, junior on Friday.

“I have decided to stay in school because I love the coaches, I love the facilities and I love Georgia,” said Sturdivant. “I came to Georgia with high aspirations and was a part of a team that immediately won a Sugar Bowl and was ranked No. 2 in the nation at the end of the season.  This last season is not how I wanted to end my career. I want to be part of a team that gets us back on track and plays for a championship.  I also think I can improve my draft status and continue to work on finishing my degree, which has always been important to me and my family.”

“We’re obviously excited with Trinton’s decision,” said coach Mark Richt.  “He’ll be an important part of our team and will also have an opportunity for some individual recognition as well.”

Sturdivant was a starter as a true freshman in 2007 but missed virtually all the 2008 and 2009 seasons with knee injuries.  He came back this past season and worked his way back to a starting role the second half of the season.

Dawgs Beat The Cats


The Georgia men’s basketball team won its SEC-best ninth straight contest Saturday evening, defeating No. 10 Kentucky by a score of 77-70 before a season-high 10,523 inside Stegeman Coliseum. The Dawgs shot a sizzling 30-of-34 from the free throw line and four players scored in double digits, led by Trey Thompkins’ game-high 25.

The win was the Dawgs’ second over a top-10 opponent in the past two seasons as the Dogs beat then-No. 8 Tennessee Jan. 23, 2010. The current nine-game winning streak is Georgia’s longest since the Final Four team did so to start the 1982-83 season.

The Dawgs kick off the SEC slate with the victory to improve to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Kentucky drops to 12-3 (0-1).

“That is what college basketball is all about,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We had two good teams playing hard, really battling it out. It was a tough league game with a great atmosphere and that is what it’s all about. It’s a great win for our program. We beat a very good basketball team and I’m proud of our team and really thank all the fans who came out. They were such an important part of the win.”

Georgia led the visiting Wildcats by 11 at the intermission, sparked by Thompkins’ 14 first-half points. After leading by just two, 28-26, with 7:02 to go in the first, Georgia rattled off an 11-2 run to take an 11-point lead, 39-28, with 1:03 left. Kentucky’s Darius Miller cut it back to single digits at nine on a short jumper. But Gerald Robinson pushed it back to 11 with a pair of late free throws to send Georgia into the locker room up 41-30.

The Wildcats started the second half off on a tear, including an 11-0 run that tied the ballgame at 47-47 with 12:32 remaining in the second half. The game was tied for the eighth time, this time at 58-58, with 7:07 on the clock after a UK steal and a jumper for Brandon Knight. But Georgia would pull away again, and a Thompkins jumper with 2:40 to play put the Dawgs up seven, 66-59.

The Wildcats were forced to take their chances with fouls, and the Dawgs made them count as they did all evening, going a combined 10-for-10 in the last two minutes from the line. Georgia guarded a 13-point lead, its largest of the game, up 77-64 with 50 seconds on the clock before UK rattled off six late points to crawl to within seven, 77-70, as time expired.

Behind Thompkins’ 25 points, Georgia got 17 from Robinson, 15 from Travis Leslie, and 10 from Dustin Ware. Jeremy Price grabbed 10 rebounds and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line to lead Georgia to 88 percent shooting there.

Terrence Jones was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 24 points while Doron Lamb had 18. Georgia led in the rebound battle, 41-37.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Uga VIII Has Lymphoma

DSC_5389Uga VIII has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He is responding well to treatment, and is expected to continue appearances at athletic events as his health allows.

He missed the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30, 2010, because of a gastrointestinal condition that prevented him from traveling with the football team.  Further diagnostic tests revealed the more serious medical condition. 
Uga VIII, whose registered name is Big Bad Bruce, is being treated by specialists at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine; his primary veterinarian is his namesake, Dr. Bruce Hollett.  Dr. Hollett has provided medical care for the Uga line for many years, said Sonny Seiler, Uga’s owner, in announcing this mascot during the 2010 football season.

Uga VIII is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the original Uga.  He was introduced to Georgia fans at the Oct. 16, 2010 Homecoming football game against Vanderbilt.  Uga VIII was born Sept. 12, 2009.  The Seilers, of Savannah, have provided mascots for UGA sporting events since 1956.

If Uga VIII is unable to appear at athletic events, Russ, the half-brother of Uga VII, will fill in for him.  Russ filled in at the final two games of the 2009 season following the death of Uga VII as well as the first six games of 2010.  He also was present at the Liberty Bowl game last month because of Uga VIII's illness.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Diamond Dawgs Ranked


University of Georgia junior outfielder Zach Cone along with junior pitchers Michael Palazzone and Cecil Tanner have been ranked among the Top 100 college prospects for the 2011 MLB draft by Baseball America.

Cone is rated the No. 40th best college prospect for this June’s draft with Palazzone ranked No. 80 and Tanner No. 95 in the nation.

Cone captured the “Triple Crown” for the Dawgs last season, leading the team in batting average (.363), home runs (10) and RBI (53). A 6-2, 202-pound native of Stone Mountain, Ga., he was a third round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels in the 2008 MLB draft after his final year at Parkview High School.

Palazzone, a 6-2, 197-pound right-hander from Marietta, has been drafted twice in his career. He was an 18th round pick of the Atlanta Braves following his prep career at Lassiter in 2008. Last year, he went 4-6 in 13 starts for the Dawgs and was a draft-eligible sophomore. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round and opted to return to UGA. A 6-6, 255-pound right-hander from Waycross, Tanner went 1-2 last year in 27 relief appearances. He was a 36th round pick by the Atlanta Braves after his senior year at Ware County in 2008.

Georgia resumes preparations for the 2011 season on Sunday, January 30. The 2011 season begins on February 18 with a three-game series against Stetson in DeLand, Florida.

Georgia’s home opener will be on February 23 against Furman followed by a three-game series with Baylor from February 25-27.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mark Richt Press Conference


DSC_7372“I’m glad 2011 is here, and I’m excited about that,” said coach Mark Richt Wednesday in a media session wrapping up 2010 and looking ahead to 2011. “Last year was not anywhere close to what we expect and certainly well below the standard of what Georgia football is all about. I’m not happy with what we went through but we’ll be better for it in 2011.”

Going into the offseason, Richt said he is looking to create momentum in the program.

“One of the biggest things I am going to be looking for is effort in the team and everyone around here,” he said. “We need to do what we do well and do it full-speed. As a head coach, that’s the number one point of emphasis that I am going to watch for.”

The Dawgs will start their 2011 campaign with a matchup against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, September 3. The Broncos finished the year 12-1, including a 26-3 win over #19 Utah in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas.

“We need to play a game like this against a highly-regarded Boise State to start the season because it creates some excitement around the program,” said Richt. “We play them and then South Carolina the first two games of the year so we will find out in a hurry where we stand. When I announced it to the team, they lit up and you could see the excitement immediately.”

He added his thoughts on how the Georgia football program will continue to prepare its student-athletes for life after football.

“We have a small window where we need to take care of our student-athletes and help them grow mentally, physically and spiritually,” said Richt. “We need to help them get a degree, to try and win championships and for some of them to get ready to play in the NFL. But most importantly is preparing all of them for life after football.”

Richt said that while the defense was going through a transition in 2010 with coaches and players installing a new system and getting to know each other, he was still encouraged with their development. He was especially pleased with how redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray led the offense. Georgia finished 34 points shy of setting a school record for points in a season, averaging 32.1 points a game.

“For the first time around, Aaron Murray handled himself well, gained confidence as the season went along, he was a leader who made plays,” Richt said. “He’s got ‘it’ and I believe we can win with Aaron.”

Murray had the second-best season for a quarterback in school history with a passing efficiency rating 154.48. He also completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,049 yards with 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Murray’s total offense and passing yards ranked second best in SEC history for a freshman.

The Dawgs finished with a host of players on the various All-SEC teams. Junior outside linebacker Justin Houston, a finalist for the Butkus and Nagurski awards, was named to the AP and Coaches All-SEC First Team while senior offensive lineman Clint Boling and junior place kicker Blair Walsh joined him on the Coaches All-SEC First Team.

In addition, sophomore tight end Orson Charles, junior flanker A.J. Green and junior punter Drew Butler, who was an Academic All-American and a Ray Guy Award finalist, were named to the Coaches All-SEC Second Team. Murray, safety Alec Ogletree and defensive lineman Kwame Geathers were also named to the Freshman All-SEC Team.

When talk turned to any underclassmen entering the NFL Draft, Richt indicated that he has talked to all of the juniors and none of them have made their decision yet.

“It’s a huge decision in their lives,” Richt said. “If they come back, they need to come back 100 percent motivated that this is the best place for them and to get us back on top in the SEC’s Eastern Division. They can be leaders and improve their trade and mature as men. They better be ready if they do go out because it’s a business.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Post Liberty Bowl


I know you’ve read everything that could possibly be written about the loss to UCF and the state of the UGA program. I didn’t see any need to rehash all that, we were 6-7 last year and honestly we were 12 points away from being 9-4, that’s about where I thought we’d be with a freshman QB and a new defense.

It’s 2011 and we’re 0-0 so far.

Here’s a few shots from Memphis.