ATHENS, Ga. (AP)—Last season, when Georgia Coach Andy Landers glanced at his bench, he saw managers, trainers and assistant coaches.
Now he sees options.
No. 10 Georgia (2-0) came at Presbyterian (1-1) in waves in Wednesday’s 66-38 victory.
“We have the depth to get after people,” said Landers, who recorded 797th win at Georgia. “We can spend a lot of energy on defense. We have people who can come in and keep doing what we are doing.”
Senior forward Jasmine Hassell led Georgia with 14 points and nine rebounds while playing 20 minutes.
Freshman Merritt Hempe was actually on the floor as long as any player. In her 24 minutes she contributed 11 points, six rebounds, three blocks, three steals, two assists and no turnovers.
That was after failing to score in the season-opening win over Rutgers Sunday.
“That was not on my mind at all,” said Hempe. ” As long as we are getting the ball to the open man. Tonight I was the open man.”
“She is a very good player,” Landers praised, “and she has picked things up we1l. She retains thing, and she takes ownership of her responsibility of what she can do. I am not at all surprised. I think she will be consistent with that throughout the year.”
Presbyterian was trying to gets its second upset win in its first season as a certified Division 1 team. The Blue Hose opened the season with a 49-46 win at Clemson Sunday.
The Lady Dogs outrebounced Presbyterian 40-32 and scored 26 points off 27 turnovers. Georgia’s reserves accounted for 35 points.
Shonda Burnside led the Blue Hose with eight points. Presbyterian continues a tough three-game opening road trip at No. 3 Duke Saturday.
Presbyterian Coach Ronny Fisher said that the stiff competition will help his team.
“The best thing I just told our kids is that it really makes your weaknesses glaring,” said Fisher, “and it shows what you need to work on. Unless you play a better team, you don’t find that out. So we’ve obviously got a lot of things we need to work on. That will help us in the long run.”
Georgia dominated in every aspect of the game in the first 20 minutes, controlling the boards 19-11 and forcing 16 turnovers.
The Lady Dogs scored the first four points of the game and steadily pulled away to lead 35-18 at the half.
The same formula worked in the second half when Georgia once again scored the first two baskets of the half and kept way out front throughout the game.
Last season Georgia was thin, playing just a handful of players. It was not uncommon for players to play 38 to 40 minutes. Landers is willing to spread the minutes around now.
“As long as it works,” he said. “I talked to the players early on and told them they need to get where they can last five minutes and see how much they can get done.
“This is new for everybody,” he said. “Our veterans are used to pacing themselves, and the new kids never had to play this hard.”