Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lady Dawgs Win


Jasmine Hassell scored a game-high 17 points, largely due to connecting on 7-of-9 shots from the floor, to lead the No. 12 Lady Dawgs to a 68-49 victory over Georgia Southern here on Tuesday night.

Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller both chipped in 16 points for Georgia (2-0), while MiMi DuBose paced Southern (0-2) with 14 points.

"Hassell was great when we got her the ball," coach Andy Landers said. "I wish we could've gotten it to her more often. She did a nice job defensively as well. She had some breakdowns, but she was still pretty solid."

The Lady Dawgs shot well early, connecting on 4-of-5 shots from the floor in the opening 3:23 to secure an 11-6 lead. Southern responded with a 9-0 surge of its own to build a 15-11 advantage.

A layup from Anne Marie Armstrong at the 11:46 mark ignited a 13-2 run over the next 7:51. Georgia's largest lead of the opening period was 14 points, lastly at 35-21 with 2:24 on the clock.

Southern remained as close as 41-32 with 16:07 left in the game before Hassell scored the first six points in a quick 9-0 run that covered just 1:58 and put the game out of reach. The Lady Dawgs' largest lead was 66-43 with 4:18 left.

For the game, Georgia shot 46.0 percent from the floor and held the Eagles to 39.5 percent. Hassell and Armstrong both collected a game-high seven rebounds.

The Lady Dawgs will return to action on Thursday when they face the College of Charleston at Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET. That contest is the second of three in a six-day span. Georgia also hosts No. 23 Southern Cal on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Reserved seat tickets for the game are $5 for adults and $3 for children and will be available at the Butts-Mehre ticket office from 8:30-4:30 on Wednesday-Friday. In addition, tickets will go on sale at Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 90 minutes before tip-off.

Recruiting News:

Merritt Hempe, a 6-3, forward from Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has signed a letter-of-intent to attend the University of Georgia on a basketball scholarship, Andy Landers announced on Monday.

"It's rare when you find a player with Merritt's size who also possesses a skill set that allows her to playing facing the basket as well as with her back to the basket," Landers said. "She's extremely versatile at 6-3 and very well developed on the offensive end. We're very excited about her future at Georgia."

Hempe (pronounced Hemp-ee) was an honorable mention All-State selection for Class AAA a year ago after averaging a double-double of 20.1 points and 10.8 points per game while helping Stafford to a 17-7 finish. She was named first-team All-Area by the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, as well as honorable mention All-Met by the Washington Post.

As a sophomore, Hempe averaged 12.6 point per game.

"Merritt has a tremendous skill set for her size," Stafford coach Carl Harris said. "She can play inside or outside, she handles the ball well, she can get her own shot off relatively easy and she can also play with her back to the basket low. Merritt's very dynamic offensively, and she's developing her leadership skills. This will be my second season at Stafford and her second season as our captain. The effort and attitude Merritt plays with is always very good."

Hempe is Georgia's fourth prospect this fall. Last Wednesday, the Lady Dawgs announced the signing of Shacobia Barbee, a 5-11, guard/forward from Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Marjorie Buter, a 5-7, guard from the Webb School in Knoxville. Barbee and Butler are the reigning Miss Tennessee Basketball winners for Class AAA and Division I Class A, respectively. On Friday, Georgia signed Kaelyn Causwell, a 6-4, forward from the Wesleyan School in Norcross who helped the Lady Wolves to their third straight Georgia Class A state title as a junior.

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