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Hassell, Georgia women too much for Georgia Tech
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ATHENS - Jasmine Hassell knew Georgia couldn't afford to be emotionally flat after Georgia Tech outplayed the Lady Bulldogs last season in Atlanta.

"Last year we didn't want it as much as they wanted it," Hassell said. "We came out ready and prepared. We wanted the win."

Hassell scored a career-high 24 points, Jasmine James added 12 and No. 15 Georgia beat Georgia Tech 75-68 on Sunday.

The Lady Bulldogs (7-1) improved to 30-4 in the series, including 13-0 at Stegeman Coliseum.

Sasha Goodlett and Tyaunna Marshall scored 19 points and Metra Walthour finished with 14 for Georgia Tech (5-3).

The Yellow Jackets have dropped three of four.

"We've lost three tough games, but we're not seeking out to play teams that we can beat up on," Goodlett said.

"We're trying to find teams that can make us better. If it wasn't for our two losses in San Juan, we wouldn't have been ready for this game."

Georgia has won three straight since losing to Georgetown on Nov. 26.

The Yellow Jackets, who fell to 8-51 against the Southeastern Conference, had won two of the last three in the series.

Walthour's basket with 32.9 seconds remaining cut the lead to three, but Meredith Mitchell added a free throw, and Hassell followed with a defensive rebound and two free throws to put Georgia ahead 74-68.

Using consecutive dribble spin moves in Georgia's halfcourt offense, Hassell hit a 5-footer, a layup and a right-handed hook to give the Bulldogs a 60-51 lead.

Khaalidah Miller followed with a 3-pointer with 6:47 remaining that made it 63-51 for the game's biggest lead.

"They believed in me and gave me the ball and let me do my thing," Hassell said. "Get the ball behind the front line of defense. The ball was just coming. There wasn't a specific play. It just went to me. The guards gave it to me."

Goodlett had a season-high 12 rebounds. Marshall pulled down nine boards.

Georgia Tech's biggest lead was six in the first half, but the Jackets could've been up by a bigger margin if so many putbacks hadn't fallen off the rim.

"It does get frustrating, but that's when we have to have enough grit and enough toughness to calm down, gather ourselves and go back up," Goodlett said. "Obviously the refs let us play tonight, so we can't look for a foul. We can't look for things, especially coming into someone's homecourt. It's something we have to take responsibility of and we have to correct. Those are crucial putbacks. Those are momentum changers, so we have to find a way to put them in."

Jackets coach MaChelle Joseph was pleased with her team's effort. Georgia Tech outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 47-42, but couldn't turn many of those boards into points.

"One of the thorns in our side in our three losses has been our missed layups," Joseph said. "That's one of the issues we have to address. The three teams that we've lost to have all been in the top 15 in the country, and it's all come down, basically, to making layups. That's one of the things we're going to have to work on."

Georgia Tech also lacked a steady flow in offensive transition because Georgia wouldn't let the Jackets run the floor without steady defensive pressure.

"When we rebound, run the floor hard and press it - we've just got to get back to our pride," Marshall said. "We played hard, but we've just got to get it back."

Georgia Tech never led after Hassell's two free throws put the Bulldogs up 35-33 early in the second half.

"When you put on a run and you back-to-back-to-back and you've got someone who's not missing, you can pop a big lead up there pretty quick," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "Every time she was touching it, it was going down. That's what was impressive. Really important."

The Lady Bulldogs played good assignment defense, too.

Landers didn't believe Georgia could guard Goodlett with one defender, so he used Anne Marie Armstrong to double the 6-foot-5 senior and sent James into the paint to try and knock the ball out when Georgia Tech had the ball down low.

Another big part of the game plan was to limit the Jackets' guards from dribbling off screens and driving to the basket to shoot layups, draw fouls or both.

"Georgia Tech is very athletic and physical, so it gave us an opportunity to gauge where we are in a season," James said. "We can see how much better we've gotten over the past few weeks and different things we've been trying to work on, such as rebounding and being more aggressive and physical and knocking down free throws and handling the press."


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