ATHENS — Georgia celebrated a reunion Sunday of the most successful team in school history by unveiling a throw-back, fast-break, up-tempo offense.
All it lacked was a little bit of polish.
Porsha Phillips and Meredith Mitchell scored 11 points each to lead the No. 19 Lady Dogs to a 58-43 win over Georgia Southern while the 1985 team, which lost in the finals of the NCAA tournament, watched on from the bleachers.
They saw a bench that contributed 24 points and a floor full of freshmen and sophomores trying to mesh and learn to play at a faster tempo.
"We are young and inexperienced offensively," coach Andy Landers said. "We have tried to make some wholesale changes in what we are doing."
Georgia (1-0) shot just 33 percent from the field and made only 6 of 30 3-point attempts.
"Everybody was anxious," said Phillips, who also had 13 rebounds. "We had a lot of open shots and they didn't fall."
Mitchell contributed a career-high seven assists from her wing position, while sophomore forward Tamika Willis led a strong showing by the reserves with nine points and eight rebounds in just 13 minutes.
"We took some good open shots," Mitchell said. "They were not falling. We have been shooting well in practice. I think we will see improvement."
Jamie Navarro led Georgia Southern (0-1) with 10 points. Meredyth Frye and Ro-Ro Smith scored nine apiece.
Georgia Southern scored 10 straight points to take a 15-14 lead with 7:36 remaining in the first half. But the Lady Dogs closed out the half with a 16-2 run to mount a 30-17 halftime lead. The Lady Eagles never got closer than eight points in the second half.
Landers was more concerned with how Georgia arrived at the shots than how many it missed.
"We did nothing to get the shots," said Landers, who had 10 players in the game. "We passed it three or four times, and then somebody had a 3. Because of that we did not make the defense foul, and we did not have many drives to the basket. ... But we have a lot of different kids who are learning how to play together."