Social Media Coverage of Lady Dogs vs. Presbyterian

Want to see social media coverage of the Lady Dogs win over Presbyterian? Check out In The Game’s Storify.

You may view the Storify here.

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Upset Coach Makes for a Worrisome Future Season

By Kristin Hiller

The Lady Bulldogs pulled off the 45-30 win Sunday afternoon against the Presbyterian Blue Hose, but Coach Andy Landers wasn’t smiling much. In fact, when addressing the suspensions of Marjorie Butler and Tiaria Griffin, he seemed insulted on a personal level.

“Do the right thing,” he said. “Go to class, go to study hall, do the best you can do, come to practice, be on time, don’t bring an attitude and bring a lot of effort. When you’re out there on the street or in the dorm, behave. Pretty unreasonable isn’t it? It seems to me like you should do that, but people like to take shortcuts…If you do it here, you’re not going to play.”

The two sophomores have a 3-game suspension to fill, meaning they will miss Thursday’s game against Mercer and Sunday’s game against Ohio State. With such a young team of only one senior and two juniors, missing returning players is a big deal.

“With the people we’re missing today, it totally messed up combinations,” Landers said.

Coach Landers seemed adamant on his position to suspend players for unruly behavior, but would he have suspended these players for a big conference game or would he have found a compromise? Landers most likely wanted to get his point across early in the season.

Despite Landers’ frustrations, though, he seemed pleased with the freshmen performances.

“I thought Sydnei [McCaskill] was a little bit nervous to begin with…But as the game went on, I thought she became more comfortable and seemed to enjoy being out there, which is what you want. [Halle] Washington, I think, is a warrior…She had one of the better performances on our entire team if you consider all things, defense, plug shots, rebounds. Those two, I thought, were huge today,” he said.

Other players had praise for the freshmen as well.

Junior Krista Donald said, “I’m proud of them. I feel like they embraced that role.”

However, when asked if she felt responsibility as a leader, she hesitated.

“Not really because I always hold myself accountable. I try to lead by example so other people can see and learn,” she said.

Sophomore Merritt Hempe, on the other hand, said she did consider herself a leader. She also cited Donald and junior Erika Ford as leaders.

“I would consider myself a leader, especially in the post because we don’t have a lot of experience down there,” she said.

Hempe also wasn’t shy to grade her own performance as well as the team’s performance of a C-.

“Not too good,” she said. “I just fouled too much in the first half and I think I could have been more of a presence…It was definitely an ugly win. I don’t think we executed as crisp as we could have.”

With the first test out of the way, the future of the pre-season ranked No. 24 team should be interesting to follow. Will Landers’ concerns be dealt with in more practice?

“Until you get those fundamentals developed to an acceptable level, that’s what you got to work on. We’re young. You can’t get that in 32 practices, be lucky if we get it in 62. We’re working on the right things; we’re working on them the right way,” Landers said.

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Rebounding helps Lady Dogs win first game

The UGA women’s basketball team won its first game of the 2013 season, largely in part because of the team’s efforts on the offensive and defensive glass. Check out this video of the Lady Dogs win over Presbyterian.

Game Notes— Lady Bulldogs vs. Presbyterian

Air Ball to All Net

Not only was today’s game the start of the 2013-2014 season for the Lady Bulldogs, it was also the start of a college career for true freshman Sydnei McCaskill.

When asked what went through her head after she missed her first shot she said, “I kind of laughed it off, I didn’t know that I just air balled the shot.”

Many of her teammates understand the pressure of playing as a freshman in college. Junior Erika Ford even stated that the same thing happened during her first game. She encouraged McCaskill to just shake it off because it happens to everyone.

It wasn’t until her next shot, and first basket, as a Lady Bulldog that McCaskill turned heads. She went from air ball to nothing-but-net by shooting a three-pointer.

“It was good, I just smiled, I didn’t want to smile or celebrate too long because I had to sprint back and get on defense,” said McCaskill.

McCaskill finally got the swing of things, scoring six points throughout her 40 minutes around the perimeter; though she was not originally supposed to play. Landers was forced to make a quick decision by putting McCaskill in the starting five, when two of his valuable players were suspended.

“I thought Sydnei was a little bit nervous to begin with,” Landers said. “But as the game went on I thought that she became more comfortable and seemed to enjoy being out there which is what you want.”

The Young Leader

The leading scorer of the game was sophomore forward Merritt Hempe, scoring 10 points throughout her 25 minutes of play.

Hempe is already showing promise in becoming a leader of this young Georgia team. Hempe stated that she likes to lead by example by working hard every day to do the right thing.

“I told them to calm down, you got it,” said Hempe when asked about advice she has given to the freshman. “I really try to be a leader for them.”

Time and Attendance

The season opener between Georgia and Presbyterian College lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes. 3,165 people were in attendance at Stegeman Coliseum, which is nearly 500 less than last year’s season opener against Rutgers. Today’s win against Presbyterian will mark the 30th opener win for head coach Andy Landers while at Georgia as well as keeping a perfect series record against Presbyterian College with a 5-0 record.

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Young Lady Bulldogs step up in win over Presbyterian

By Mariya Lewter

The Georgia women’s basketball team opened the 2013-2014 season with a 45-30 win over Presbyterian Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum. Tiaria Griffin and Marjorie Butler did not play after being suspended for failing to meet team expectations. As a result, the Lady Bulldogs had to rely heavily on their young players, including sophomore Merritt Hempe who posted a game-high 10 points.

The Blue Hose shot 10.7% from the field in the first half, making only three field goals and recording 11 turnovers. Both teams struggled to score, but a 9-0 run midway through the first half gave Georgia a 15-6 lead.

In the second half, Georgia began to struggle more. After only recording seven turnovers in the first half, Georgia had nine in the second, including five in the first ten minutes. The Bulldogs also shot 44% at the free-throw line, hitting only 11-25. Head coach Andy Landers expressed that communication was the team’s biggest issue during the game.

“They have to communicate,” he said. “That’s been part of what we’ve been trying to get them to do in practice, and they refuse to do it. We’re hitting screens right and left because no one is calling them.”

 Junior guard Erika Ford expressed what she feels the team needs to do to improve during the season.

“Honestly, I don’t think our defense was that good,” she said. “We need to communicate and work on ball pressure and not hitting screens. We also need to work on our intensity. I feel like once we get more intense, it will all fall together.”

Despite the turnovers and poor free-throw shooting, the Bulldogs outrebounded the Blue Hose 51-37, with 18 offensive rebounds versus Presbyterian’s 13. Senior guard Khaalidah Miller led the team with 11 rebounds while also scoring seven points. Hempe grabbed six rebounds in addition to her 10 points, and junior Krista Donald nearly earned a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.

Freshman Sydnei McCaskill got the start in her first game as a Lady Bulldog. After shooting an air ball on her first attempt, the Orlando, Fla. native later followed up with a 3-pointer, which gave Georgia a 14-point lead.

“It took me a while to get warmed up,” she said. “My shot wasn’t falling in the first half, and when I finally did get the three, I felt good going out there.”

Landers gave his thoughts about McCaskill’s first game.

“I thought Sydnei was a little bit nervous to begin with,” he said. “You may have been, too, if it was your freshman year and first game, and all of a sudden you’re out there. As the game went on, I thought she became more comfortable and began to enjoy being out there.”

With the suspensions of Butler and Griffin, Landers was forced to play other players for longer minutes than usual. Both McCaskill and Miller played 40 minutes, while Ford played 35 and Donald played 29.

“Sometimes it’s about combinations, and, with the people that we’re missing today, it totally messed up combinations,” Landers said. “We had some key people out today. We didn’t have depth because we had people sitting on the bench that ought to be playing. This was a survival game.”

The Lady Bulldogs will return to action Thursday versus Mercer at 7:00 p.m. in the Stegeman Coliseum.

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Young Lady Bulldogs enter season with uncertainty

By Loni Gibson

The Lady Bulldogs will start their 2013-2014 season on Sunday ranked for the 500th time. Georgia was ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press preseason poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

Despite being ranked in the AP top 25, Georgia is going into the season with a young team and much uncertainty. The Lady Bulldogs will return only one senior, two juniors and five sophomores. Georgia also has four true freshmen and one redshirt freshman available to play this season.

“We’ve got to give them opportunities to go out there and see what they can contribute to our basketball team, to show what they know about what we’re trying to do and to show how well they can play with other people, Landers said. “Those are the typical changes for a freshman and those are the challenges that these guys face.”

Aside from the uncertainty that comes with a young team, Georgia will be missing sophomores Tiaria Griffin and Marjorie Butler. The two sophomores will miss three games for “failure to adhere to the standards of the program”, according to a statement released by

The Lady Bulldogs will have the majority of their starters available to start their 2013-2014 season. Senior Khaalidah Miller is expected to be at the center of their leadership.

“The upperclassmen have been good in that they’ve worked hard. They have helped set a tone and an example of how we want things to be,” Landers said. “They clearly have an understanding of how we want to play in certain situations. They’ve been excellent in that regard, and I think the younger players have watched them and learned from it.”

To start off the season, the Bulldogs will face the Presbyterian Blue Hose Sunday, November 10.

The Lady Bulldogs are 4-0 against the Blue Hose; however, Georgia s should not brush off their season opener. Last year, Presbyterian traveled to Clemson and upset the Tigers in their season opener. Similarly to the Lady Bulldogs, the Blue Hose have five freshmen that are new to the program, but will return nine upperclassman, including three seniors.

Coach Landers is not overlooking this game against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. He says that he is cautious of having such high expectations of a young team.

“I’m really a little bit cautious of about having great expectations for a young team in the first game, Landers said. “We certainly have intentions of going out and trying to establish the way that we want to grow and play, but we’re young and it’s the first game of the year. Sometimes you just take what you can get.”

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