Monday, March 21, 2011

Lady Dawgs Advance


Jasmine James scored a game-high 18 points and Porsha Phillips recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds to lead Georgia (22-10) to a 56-41 victory over Middle Tennessee State (23-8) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at the Auburn Arena on Sunday.

"We are very pleased with the way that we played," head coach Andy Landers said. "As a coach and coaching staff, we are extremely proud of the effort and how hard our basketball team played and also how well they executed on the defensive end. They were absolutely outstanding there.

"We beat a very good Middle Tennessee State team," Landers continued. "This is a team that shoots the ball 45 percent from the floor and shoots the ball very well from three. I'm just really proud of the way our defense stepped up and, from my perspective, disrupted a very good offensive team. On the offensive end, I thought we had a number of people make big plays and play well and we shot the ball well. If we could have eliminated a few of those turnovers, it would have been as good of an offensive effort as it was a defensive effort. But again, this was a very good Middle Tennessee State team. We would have felt, regardless of the score, fortunate to have beaten them and we feel that now that it's done."

James also chipped in five rebounds and four steals for Georgia, which shot 47.7 percent for the game. Jasmine Hassell contributed 11 points and five rebounds, and Meredith Mitchell added nine points, seven rebounds and two steals.

The Lady Dawgs never trailed from the 5:32 mark of the first half after withstanding four ties.

After leading 26-20 at halftime, the Lady Dawgs started the second half with a 8-0 run and never looked back. A three-pointer by Anne Marie Lanning ended the spurt with 12:23 left on the clock.

The closest Middle Tennessee got thereafter was 11 with 2:35 remaining. James connected on both ends of three one-and-one situations to help the Lady Dawgs maintain a comfortable cushion.

Georgia held Ebony Rowe, who averages 17.4 points per game, to just 10 points – all of which she scored in the second period.

Phillips, with 348 rebounds on the season, is three away from matching Janet Harris at No. 5 on the Lady Dawgs' season leaders ledger.

The Lady Dawgs will face Florida State in the second round game on Tuesday at 8:35 p.m. CT.

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