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Hassell, Georgia women top Mercer, 80-43
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MACON — Only two days after setting her career high in scoring, Jasmine Hassell again took the lead with 16 points to lead No. 14 Georgia to an 80-43 win over Mercer on Tuesday night.

Hassell set a career high with 24 points in a win over Georgia Tech on Sunday. The junior appears to be emerging as a force for Georgia, but she said she's not satisfied.

"No, I don't think I'm on top of my game," Hassell said.

"I've got a lot to work on," she said, adding that "rebounding, getting in the passing lanes, not letting the ball come inside as easily" are areas in which she must improve.

Hassell, a 6-foot-2 forward, had back-to-back baskets as Georgia took control by scoring 11 straight points midway through the first half. She had 10 points in the second half as the Lady Bulldogs stretched the lead.

"Jasmine actually played pretty well in the second half," said Georgia coach Andy Landers.

Led by Hassell's play around the basket, Georgia outscored Mercer 52-6 in the paint.

Georgia (8-1) trailed 14-12 following a 3-pointer by the Bears' Ry'van Buchanan, who had 13 points. Mercer had no answer after Georgia's 11-0 run.

"I felt like obviously the first 10 minutes of the game we looked like we could play with them," said Mercer coach Susie Gardner, a former Georgia player.

"The last 30 minutes of the game it looked like Georgia was the 14th-best team in the country."

Khaalidah Miller had 15 points and Anne Marie Armstrong added 12 for Georgia, which outscored the Bears 43-20 in the second half.

"I think we were playing better defense and passing the ball better in transition," Hassell said.

Precious Bridges had 11 points for Mercer (2-7).

Georgia played at Mercer for the first time since 1993.

"It would have been nice to take down Goliath," Buchanan said. "But it's a journey. We have to keep working."

The Lady Bulldogs had 14 steals, including four by Jasmine James, and outscored the Bears 26-3 in points off turnovers.

Gardner played for Landers, now in his 33rd season at Georgia, from 1983-86.

"It's a mixed emotion type thing," Landers said, adding that beating one of his former players takes some of the joy out of winning the game.

"I don't look forward to it," he said. "I look forward to seeing Susie and the talk before the game."

Gardner is a former assistant coach at Florida and coach at Arkansas.

"I'm glad the game is over so I can get back to just watching the Lady Dogs as a fan and an alum," she said.

Mercer finished 2-27 last year in its first season with Gardner. This season, the Bears had losses to Auburn, Central Florida and Wake Forest before playing Georgia.

"We are making strides and we are learning lessons that we might not otherwise," Gardner said.

Georgia has won four straight since its only loss to No. 19 Georgetown in Las Vegas.


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