Latest Rankings: No. 15 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 14 by AP
Georgia's youthful Lady Bulldogs, who have started a trio of freshman in each of their first two games of the season, face their stiffest test to date when they host Georgia State at Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Lady Panthers represent the Lady Dogs' third straight opponent with four starters back from a year ago; however, GSU's results from the 2000-01 campaign are superior to Georgia's first two foes. The Lady Panthers posted a 24-7 record a year ago and reached the NCAA Tourney. In each of the first three outings, the experience of the foe -- as well as Georgia's inexperience -- has been easy to spot at times.
"I think it makes the challenge more difficult," Andy Landers said. "I've been saying that the teams we're playing are good. They're good for a number of reasons, one of which is they have experienced players. People don't like to hear 'good' unless you're talking about UConn or Stanford or Texas Tech. Teams like we've played, with so many veteran players, take a young basketball team like ours to task."
Although Landers knows the basics about Georgia State, the specifics of the Lady Panthers' makeup are harder to come by.
"Georgia State is somewhat of a mystery because they've only played one game and that was just Saturday night," Landers said. "There's not a lot of information available. Obviously, they return four starters off an NCAA Tournament team. Georgia State presents a situation similar to Middle Tennessee (last week) in that the have an undersized post player who is very quick and agile, and they have two veteran guards in (Marica) Maddox and (Angelina) Miller."
This weekend, Georgia takes to the road for the first time this season when the Lady Dogs travel to Cal's Oakland Tribune Classic. UGA faces 4-0 UNLV on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 ET. The Lady Dogs will meet either Cal or Central Connecticut State in the championship or consolation game on Sunday.
Injury bug already a pest
The injury bug, a frequent visitor to the Lady Bulldog roster over the past several years, already has reared its ugly head early this season.
Most recently, freshman guard Whitney Law sprained her ankle in practice last Friday morning and is "questionable" for the Georgia State game. In Law's absence, Mary Beth Lycett likely will make the first start of her career this evening.
Previously, Ebony Felder "tweaked" her left shoulder in practice on Nov. 13. Felder, who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery on her right shoulder, missed the season-opener against Maine but scored 14 points -- including five in OT -- versus Middle Tennessee.
T-Mac climbs rebounding list
After posting victories in their first two outings of the campaign, the Lady Bulldogs enjoyed an off week to go back to the drawing board and focus on areas where they most needed to improve.
"Because of injuries, we haven't gotten exactly what I wanted to out of the last week," Andy Landers said. "The next step in our getting better is our kids getting more comfortable with what we're doing both offensively and defensively. They aren't there yet, but we are certainly moving in that direction. This week has helped us in our efforts to get there."
McDonald closing in on Saudia
Tawana McDonald enters the week just 10 points shy of the No. 20 spot among the Lady Bulldogs' career scoring leaders.
T-Mac has 1,028 points in a Lady Bulldog uniform and attempting to catch 1996 National Player of the Year, Saudia Roundtree, who poured in 1,038 points in her two seasons in Athens.
In addition, McDonald's 10 blocks to date inched her closer to the UGA career record. She now has 259 swats, which is only eight away from Tracy Henderson and the No. 2 position among the Lady Dogs' leaders for that stat. T-Mac is currently 31 blocks away from Katrina McClain's UGA record of 290.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Shootout
Tickets for the inaugural Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl SEC/ACC Shootout at Phillips Arena are now on sale at all TicketMaster locations. The doubleheader on Thursday, Dec. 27 features Tennessee taking on Duke at 12:30 p.m. followed by Georgia versus Georgia Tech at 3:00. Individual tickets are just $12. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are only $7. For individual tickets call Ticketmaster at 800-326-4000 and for group tickets call 404-878-3866.