"I'm pleased with the way our team responded," Andy Landers said. "Within the team you can have individual performances and win, but you can't have individual performances and no teamwork and win very often, particularly when you're in a situation like we were in tonight. We asked people to make some plays. We asked people to do some things differently and they did it. People came off the bench and did more than they've done before."
Alexis Kendrick added 19 points, and Janese Hardrick chipped in 13. Desiré Bostice posted career highs of nine points and 11 rebounds. In fact, Bostice played 15 first-half minutes, more than her previous career high for court time.
The Lady Bulldogs' decisive win certainly did not start that way. The majority of the first half was back and forth, with three lead changes and six ties over the first 12:26 before Baker and Kendrick helped Georgia build the first significant lead of the night. The Lady Bulldog senior guards scored the first eight points of a 10-2 run which gave Georgia a 36-28 lead with 4:03 remaining in the half.
Middle Tennessee pulled within six points at the break when Bostice's follow-up rimmed out.
Early in the second half, the Lady Bulldogs pulled even further away. A three-pointer from Kendrick in the left corner pushed the margin to 57-44 with 14:31 left in the game. The Blue Raiders never pulled closer than eight points thereafter.
With five first-half steals Baker upped her career total to 308 and tied Adrienne Shuler for the No. 2 position on the Lady Dogs' career leaders ledger. Baker ended the game with 312 steals, just 30 shy of Teresa Edwards' Georgia record. With 30 steals in the last four games, Baker has begun a serious challenge to the SEC's all-time steals record of 272 established by Mississippi State's Tan White last season.
The Lady Bulldogs will return to Stegeman Coliseum for the first time in more than two weeks this Sunday when they host archrival Georgia Tech at 2:00 p.m. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Georgia Basketball "retro" t-shirt.
Sunday's contest will represent the Yellow Jackets' first trip to Athens since the early portion of the 1989-90 campaign. In addition, Georgia's 1985 and 1995 Final Four teams, who will be in Athens for their 20- and 10-year reunions, respectively, will be recognized at halftime.