DULUTH, Ga. --- All five starters reached double figures in the scoring column as No. 12 Georgia defeated No. 22 LSU, 71-53, in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Friday night. The Lady Bulldogs will now face No. 7 Kentucky in Saturday's semifinals at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Jasmine Hassell scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor to pace Georgia (25-5). Tiaria Griffin added 15 points (on five three-pointers), Anne Marie Armstrong scored 12, Shacobia Barbee added 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and Jasmine James contributed 10 points.
"I've had a really good feeling about them all week," head coach Andy Landers said of his team. "They've listened and prepared for this. I was very pleased with the way we started and continued throughout the entire game. It was impressive."
Adrienne Webb scored 16 points to lead LSU (20-11).
The Lady Bulldogs started quickly, with back-to-back threes from Griffin and James giving Georgia a 6-0 lead less than two minutes in. That margin grew to double digits for the first time on a Hassell jumper at the 12:59 mark that made it 15-5. Georgia pushed its advantage to the largest margin of the opening period when consecutive layups by Merritt Hempe and Hassell put the Lady Bulldogs up 29-15.
Georgia held a 14-point edge at 32-18 before LSU scored six straight in a span of 1:14 to pull within eight. The Lady Bulldogs answered with a 8-3 run before Plaisance closed the scoring on a buzzer-beating three.
Hassell and James both reached double digits before halftime, leading the way with 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the opening 20 minutes. That marked Hassell's team-leading 21st double-figure performance of the season and James' 19th.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the second stanza much like the first, scoring the first five points of the period to gain their largest lead to that point, 45-30. The margin topped out at 28 points at 69-41 on a Barbee three-point play with 5:06 left.