Lady Dawgs not a one-person team

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Against Florida, Georgia was fine when Tasha Humphrey played only 11 minutes of the first half.

The Lady Bulldogs' All-American forward picked up two fouls in that amount of time and went to the bench with her team leading by 11 points in that game Sunday. At halftime, Georgia still led by double digits.

"A lot of people look at Georgia as a one-person team, but I came out of the game and the score didn't fluctuate," Tasha Humphrey said. "That shows a lot about what kind of team we are. I don't make this basketball team. I'm just a component, like everybody else."

That may be true against Florida. It will not be true tonight when the No. 13 Lady Bulldogs (11-3, 2-0 SEC) take on No. 1 Tennessee (15-0, 1-0) at 7 in Knoxville, Tenn. The game will be televised by Fox SportsNet South.

Georgia can't match up with the Lady Vols' depth – Landers estimates Tennessee will play 10 people in the first half and his team has only six consistent contributors – but no one in the country can match up with Humphrey. If Georgia is going to pull off an upset, Humphrey will have to be on the floor.

She leads the SEC in scoring (20.2 points per game) and is fourth in rebounding (9.3). Most impressively to her coach, she's playing 30.2 minutes per game, which is a testament to how critical she is to the Lady Dogs' success.

"People just don't play their big kids that many minutes, but we've had to and she's risen to the occasion," Landers said. "I see a tiredness in her eyes more than I see a tiredness in her play."

Georgia lost four post players prior to the start of the season, leaving Humphrey no real help on the inside. She has to be dominant but smart at the same time because of that lack of depth.

"You've constantly got the mental burden hanging over you that, ‘I can't foul. I can't make a mistake,'" Landers said.

Today's game will be the first real measuring stick for how Georgia stacks up with the elite of the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs will play Tennessee and LSU twice each before the regular season is finished. That challenge excited Landers at the beginning of the season.

"We had a lot more players then," he said. "It was easier to get excited when I thought we had (players who were) 6-6, 6-5, 6-4. Now, it is what it is, a real challenge to play a team that's as talented as we may have been back then."

Landers still thinks he has an "excellent" team, he said.

"It just does not have any margin for error," he said. "We'll be blessed if we get through our schedule without that catching up with us."

They'll be lucky if they just survive tonight.

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