ATHENS, Ga. -- No. 9 Georgia used a 61-58 win over Auburn to secure the 28th 20-win season in program history on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Jasmine Hassell turned in a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead a quartet of double-digit scorers. Shacobia Barbee, Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller scored 14, 13 and 10 points, respectively. Barbee also notched eight rebounds and James tallied a game-high five steals.
"I thought Auburn showed a lot of resilience tonight," said head coach Andy Landers. "I thought defensively we got after them and created some havoc. I thought they got frustrated, and while they were frustrated, they were turning the ball over and we were scoring the basketball to get a lead. But they stayed the course and stayed with everything. They went about their business of cutting the lead, and then when they got the score close, they became very good in the half court. You have to give them credit for that. But with that said, I don't remember when we've missed more chip shots than tonight."
The Lady Bulldogs (20-3, 8-2 SEC) recorded a season-high free throw percentage of 86.4 percent by shooting 19-of-22 from the charity stripe. Georgia's 19 free throws is also a season high.
The Tigers (13-10, 8-2 SEC) were led by Hasina Muhammad, who scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
After a slow start by both teams, the Lady Bulldogs found their stride and sailed to a 19-7 lead with just under 13 minutes on the clock. Auburn then executed an 8-2 surge to pull within in six, 21-15.
Georgia refused to allow the Tigers any closer and used a quick 9-0 run to pull ahead 30-15, which was the Lady Bulldogs' largest lead of the game. Auburn scored the next six points, before Georgia closed out the half with four consecutive free throws to bring the score to 34-22.
In the first period, Georgia scored 12 points off of 14 Auburn turnovers, while allowing the Tigers to score just five points off of seven turnovers. The Lady Bulldogs also tallied seven steals compared to Auburn's two.
The Tigers came out strong in the second half, scoring five points in the first minute. Auburn eventually whittled Georgia's lead to 36-31. For the next few minutes, the Tigers matched the Lady Bulldogs basket-for-basket before going on a 6-0 run that brought the score to 42-41.
With 10:30 remaining, Georgia reeled off five unanswered points, stretching its lead to 47-41. Auburn continued to keep it interesting and kept the Lady Bulldogs from taking another decisive advantage.
The Tigers connected on just their third free throw of the night to tie the game at 51-51 with under five minutes left in the game. Auburn tied the score again at 53-53, before Georgia pulled ahead 60-55 with 11 ticks left on the clock. The Tigers hit a long three with four seconds remaining, but then fouled Barbee, who connected on a free throw to bring the score to 61-58 before time ran out on Auburn.
Next up, Georgia travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. Following an open date next Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs will travel to Gainesville to face Florida on Feb. 17 before returning home to Stegeman Coliseum to host Arkansas on Feb. 21.
University of Georgia