No. 10 Georgia forces 29 turnovers, beats South Carolina State

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia women's coach Andy Landers believes cramming five games into a nine-day stretch will teach him plenty about his team.

Anne Marie Armstrong scored 14 points and Erika Ford added 10 to lead No. 10 Georgia to a 62-46 win over South Carolina State on Friday night.

Georgia (3-0) had a poor shooting night -- going 21 of 68 (31 percent) -- but forced 29 turnovers by South Carolina State (1-1) and won the rebounding battle 51-33.

"Here is what we have seen three games in," said Landers, who got his 798th career victory. "Our shooters are not shooting well."

Georgia also shot 19 percent from behind the 3-point line (4 of 21) and just 53 percent at the free-throw line (16 of 30). Other than Armstrong's 6-of-7 showing at the charity stripe and Merritt Hempe hitting all three of her attempts, the host Lady Bulldogs went 7 of 20.

"The thing that was probably the most disappointing was how many points we left on the table," Landers said. "We missed free throws, chip shots, layups on the fast break. I bet we left 25 points on the table."

Tiara Knotts led South Carolina State with 13 points and Paris Alston had 11 rebounds.

With 6:36 to play, Alston scored on a layup to pull South Carolina State to 50-41, but Georgia scored eight straight points to pull away.

Georgia capitalized on a brief scuffle with less than 6 minutes to go for a rare five-point possession. S.C. State's Fannie Goodwin was called for a technical foul, and Armstrong hit four straight free throws. Georgia kept the ball, and Jasmine Hassell added another free throw to put the host Lady Bulldogs ahead 58-41.

Defense dominated the first 23 minutes. Tiara Knotts hit a 3-pointer with 6:33 to go in the first half to pull South Carolina State to 19-15, but the visiting Lady Bulldogs would not score again until the second half.

"Defensively, we were pretty good," said Landers. "We turned them over 29 times, and we rebounded well. We did not turn it over too much."

Over the next three minutes, Georgia didn't fare any better, adding one free throw. But starting with Jasmine James's free throw with 3:23 to go, Georgia closed out the half with nine more unanswered points to take a 29-15 halftime lead.

By halftime, South Carolina State already had 19 turnovers, leading directly to 16 Georgia points.

"Coach Landers' team did a great job," said S.C. State coach Doug Robertson. "They're great athletes. I thought we tried to play as well as we could with them despite the talent discrepancy."

South Carolina State scored the first four points of the second half to narrow the deficit to 10. Halfway through the second half, South Carolina State's Kourtney Williams hit a short jumper from the baseline to pull her team to 43-34.

Georgia had abundant opportunities at the free throw line to stretch the lead, but the Lady Dogs hit only 16 of 30.