Lady Dawgs hit crossroads
Two regular season games remain for Andy Landers and his Lady Dawgs. Those two games will go a long way in determining the NCAA hopes of the Lady Dawgs. With last week's over Florida, the Lady Dawgs improved their chance of making the NCAAs for the eighth straight time.
But will this team grow up fast enough to make a run in either the SEC or NCAA tournament (should the get in)? They showed potential with their win over Florida, but at the same time had Tennessee on the ropes and could not finish the deal. Winning the final two games of the season is critical in getting ready for the two tournaments.
McDonald needs to step up on offense
One criticism recently has been with the placid offensive play of Tawana McDonald in big games. A senior from Flit, Michigan, McDonald is a four-year starter for Landers but has yet to turn it on offensively in critical situations this season.
Against Western Kentucky, McDonald scored 17 points, but earlier in the month she did not score over 10 points against the likes of South Carolina, Tennessee, or Florida. McDonald needs to take control of the game, not only on the defensive side of the ball, but on offense as well. She is too big and talented not to have more of an offensive impact in the games.
ALABAMA at No. 23 GEORGIA
When/Where: Today, 7 p.m., Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
Records: Georgia (17-8 overall, 5-7 in Southeastern Conference), Alabama
Radio/TV: WMGM 102.1 FM in Athens area/No TV
Alabama starters: G Shondra Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (15.0 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game); G Katie Sipe, 5-10, Fr. (7.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg); G Beth Vice, 5-11, Jr. (12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg); F Leigh Papisan, 6-1, Jr. (2.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg); C LaNisha Cartwell, 6-2, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
Georgia starters: G Camille Murphy, 5-6, Sr. (5.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg); G Mary Beth Lycett, 6-0, Jr. (8.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg); F Ebony Felder, 6-2, Fr. (8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg); F Kara Braxton, 6-6, Fr. (16.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg); C Tawana McDonald, 6-4, Sr. (7.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
Outlook: Georgia and Alabama are trying to improve their NCAA tournament hopes. Georgia could move back to .500 in the conference by winning its final two games against Alabama and Sunday at Arkansas. That would push the Lady Bulldogs, who have been in the Top 25 all season, to 19 wins. But with a poor finish, Georgia could fall out of the Top 25, finish below. 500 in the league and miss the NCAA bid.
Georgia has its first two-game winning streak of the calendar year, thanks to Sunday's 76-58 win over Wester Kentucky. On Sunday, Georgia beat No. 14 Florida, 73-62 in a game Coach Andy Landers said "gives us a chance again.''
Freshman Kara Braxton has been Georgia's leading scorer most of the season, and she paced the team with 26 points against Western Kentucky. Tawana McDonald, who will be playing in her final regular-season home game tonight, added 17 points and eight rebounds.
Georgia committed only nine turnovers against Western Kentucky, taking a step to improve a season-long nemesis. After losing to No. 9 South Carolina 69-54, Alabama bounced back with an 86-69 win over Mississippi on Sunday. The Crimson Tide has won three of its last four games and five of seven following a slow start in conference games.
Alabama is 3-3 in road conference games.