NO. 13 GEORGIA WOMEN 42, NO. 18 SOUTH CAROLINA 40
ATHENS, Ga. — No. 13 Georgia’s 42-40 win over No. 18 South Carolina Sunday marked a new low in school history: the fewest points ever in a victory.
Previously, the fewest points the Lady Dogs had ever scored in a win was in DeKalb College 43-42 on Jan. 17, 1974, the first win in program history.
Georgia (15-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) got 19 points from Jasmine Hassell in the defensive struggle. South Carolina (14-3, 2-2) also got 19 from Aleighsa Welch. The Gamecocks scored only one field goal in the last 13 minutes of the game.
“It’s a shame somebody had to lose this game because both teams played extremely hard, and it’s what our league is all about,” said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
The Gamecocks missed all 11 3-point field goal attempts and made only half of 16 free throw attempts. Both teams were turnover prone: South Carolina had 24 and Georgia 21.
“They are really good defensively,” said Georgia coach Andy Landers. “Thursday night they held Vanderbilt to 13 field goals in the whole game. They give up the fewest 3s in the league, and they are in your grill, so they are hard to drive on. What are you going to do but get the ball inside?”
Hassell scored on a power drive with 1:29 to play that put Georgia up 41-36. Tiffany Mitchell answered for South Carolina with a short jumper with 1:12 left, the first field goal of the second half since the 13:57 mark.
Georgia threw the ball away, and Sancheon White made a pair of free throws for the Gamecocks, cutting the deficit to 41-40 with 44.6 seconds showing.
Georgia killed the clock until Anne Marie Armstrong missed for the seventh time in seven tries, but Hassell rebounded and was fouled on the put-back attempt.
She made 1 of 2 free throws, setting up the final try by the Gamecocks, but Ashley Bruner shot an air ball.
South Carolina took an early 8-2 lead, with Ieasia Walker accounting for the first five of those points. Georgia tied the game at 10 on a short jumper by Jasmine James in the circle, but it was three baskets by Hassell in the post that sparked the Lady Dogs’ rally. Hassell was wearing a nose guard for the first time in her career after she took a blow to the face in Thursday’s win at Alabama.
The teams traded the lead the rest of the half, with neither one able to get up by more than three points. It looked like South Carolina might take a three-point lead into halftime, but Khaalidah Miller snuck back door with 13 seconds to go in the half for a layup and free throw to make it 25-25 at intermission.
The same pattern continued in the second half with neither team able to pull away from the other, but instead exchanging short runs as the lead ebbed back and forth.
The Lady Dogs led 31-29 with 16:38 to play after Tiaria Griffin scored a layup off a turnover. But Georgia went six minutes without a point. The Gamecocks could score only six in that time, building a 35-31 lead with 11:10 to play on a free throw by Walker.
Georgia recaptured the lead when Miller converted a fast-break opportunity, making it 36-35 with 8:49 to play. The Gamecocks never led again, but had plenty of opportunities.
The 42 points by Georgia was the lowest total in any game since losing in the 2011 NCAA tournament to Texas A&M 79-38.