ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 13 Georgia Lady Bulldogs outlasted the No. 18 South Carolina Gamecocks, 42-40, on Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia (15-2, 3-1 SEC) was led by Jasmine Hassell with 19 points and Shacobia Barbee with seven rebounds. The Gamecocks (14-3, 2-2 SEC) were paced by Aleighsa Welch's 19 points and Tiffany Mitchell's 10 rebounds.
The victory was the lowest-scoring win in the history of Lady Bulldog Basketball, with the previous low set in a 43-42 win over DeKalb College on Jan. 17, 1974. That victory was the first in program history.
“You’re talking about two very good defensive basketball teams," said head coach Andy Landers. "It seems like the last few times we’ve met, this has been the result. It’s just hard-fought, and somewhat ugly at times offensively, but if you like defense, you’d like either team today.”
South Carolina's 40 points is the least amount of points an SEC team has scored against Georgia since the Lady Bulldogs held the Gamecocks to 34 points in the 2011 SEC tournament.
The Gamecocks took an early 8-2 lead, which ended up being the largest advantage either team held in the game. Georgia tied the game at 10-10 two minutes later after the Lady Bulldogs executed an 8-2 run of their own.
After South Carolina's initial lead, neither team led by more than three points for the reminder of the period. The Gamecocks led 25-22 with less than a minute on the clock when Khaalidah Miller converted a three-point play to tie the game going into halftime.
In the first half, the Lady Bulldogs connected on 40.7 percent of their shots from the field while South Carolina made 45.8 percent of its field goals.
The beginning of the second period closely mirrored the start of the first half as South Carolina executed a quick 4-0 spurt, which the Lady Bulldogs answered with a brisk 4-0 surge of their own.
The teams matched each other basket-for-basket over the next few minutes before South Carolina took a 35-31 lead off of four unanswered points. Back-to-back trips to the free throw line by the Lady Bulldogs resulted in Georgia cutting the lead to 35-34 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
A fast break layup by Miller gave Georgia its second lead of the half at 36-35. A made free throw by each team increased the score to 37-36 with five minutes left.
The Lady Bulldogs scored a quick four points with consecutive jumpers by Jasmine James and Hassell to put Georgia up 41-36 with 1:30 on the clock. South Carolina answered with a brief 4-0 run and cut Georgia's lead to 41-40.
Hassell connected on a free throw to give the Lady Bulldogs a narrow 42-40 advantage with 18 seconds remaining. As time ran out, South Carolina was unable to connect on a jumper that would have sent the game into overtime.
The Gamecocks out rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 37-28, which allowed them to score 10 second chance points, compared to Georgia's six. Georgia won the turnover battle, committing 21 to South Carolina's 24. The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Gamecocks in points off turnovers 16-14.
Next, the Lady Bulldogs travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to take on the Razorbacks on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Georgia returns home Sunday, Jan. 20 to host No. 20 Texas A&M at 5:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.