ATHENS, GA. -- Four Lady Bulldogs notched double-digit scoring efforts as No. 10 Georgia (1-0) squeaked past Rutgers (0-1), 57-51, Sunday afternoon in the season opener for both teams.
"It was a hard fought game," said head coach Andy Landers. "I truly believe these were two very good basketball teams that are going to get a lot better as the season goes on. Rutgers is really talented and very good and I think we are too. I think probably both coaches would like to clean up a lot of mistakes that were made. You have to be complimentary about how hard both teams played and we feel really good about having a win over a good Rutgers team."
Khaalidah Miller led Georgia with 12 points, while Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine James and Jasmine Hassell all put up 10 points. Armstrong also recorded a team-high six rebounds.
Freshman Shacobia Barbee became the 70th freshman to start for Landers, and the 22nd to do so in her collegiate debut.
Erica Wheeler and Chelsey Lee led Rutgers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The game was close from opening tip until the final buzzer, as neither team led the first half by more than four points until Georgia went up 20-14 off a Miller trey with 8:07 left in the period.
Less than a minute later, the Scarlet Knights pulled within four, 20-16, with a jumper by Christa Evans. The Lady Bulldogs then hit three layups in a row, one by Hassell and two by Tiaria Griffin, to take the lead 26-16 with 4:17 on the clock.
Evans hit another jumper with 49 seconds on the clock to bring the score to 26-18, but James beat the buzzer to ensure that Georgia would enter the locker room with a 10-point lead, 28-18.
In the first half, Rutgers out-rebounded Georgia 21-13, but Georgia won the turnover battle 9-16.
Rutgers began the second half with a 9-1 run that diminished Georgia's lead to 29-27 and the clock to 13:05.
Over the next nine minutes, the Scarlet Knights met the Lady Bulldogs basket-for-basket before Georgia embarked on an 8-3 run that would put it up 53-43.
In the final two minutes of the game, Rutgers hit a layup and sank two three-pointers, while Georgia went 4-for-6 at the free throw line. For the game, the Lady Bulldogs were 58.3 percent from the charity stripe, with Armstrong hitting a perfect 4-for-4.
University of Georgia