Hassell scored 17 points and claimed 10 rebounds against her mother’s alma mater. But the former Gail Corder was no ordinary player. When she finished her Belmont career in 1984, she was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,814 points.
“She may talk a little smack to her mama tonight,” said Georgia (4-0) Coach Andy Landers, who was the beneficiary of his 799th career win as the Lady Bulldogs’ head coach.
“I thought she was terrific,” said Landers. “She was a beast. She went to the glass with a passion. She got on a roll there in the first half where she was feeling it. She was exploding with energy.”
Hassell scored five straight points just past the midpoint of the first half during a 31-2 Georgia run that effectively sealed the deal early.
“Our post players were huge inside,” said point guard Jasmine James, who added 10 points. “We were able to score a lot of easy points early.”
Vanderbilt transfer Jordan Coleman led Belmont (1-3) with nine points and 11 rebounds.
“I think that Georgia’s a very good basketball team,” Belmont Coach Brittney Ezell said. “I think they’re able to beat you from all five positions, and they’re very impressive.”
Belmont led 2-0 after Coleman hit a jumper from the left wing, but the Lady Dogs scored the next 19 points to start a 31-2 run that gave Georgia a 31-4 lead at 6:11 when James converted layup off a steal and feed from Shacobia Barbee.
Georgia led 40-12 at halftime.
“The way that we played in the first half is not indicative of the type of team that we have or the type of program we have,” Ezell said. “So we told them to worry about us more so than Georgia. Georgia’s going to do what they do.”
After playing with six or seven players last year, Landers is enjoying the luxury of playing 12 players. All 12 scored Sunday, and 11 of the 12 played at least 16 minutes, none more than 22 minutes.
“This was a fairly complete game for us,” Landers said. “We were very good defensively. We made them miss. We dominated the boards on the defensive end. They did not get any second-chance points.
“We were able to run over and over,” he said. “We probably didn’t run sets half a dozen times today. We put it all together today.”
“I think we did a good job of preparing,” she said. “We played defense like we talked about. We didn’t prepare one way and play another. We never slacked off, and we were focused from the beginning.
Georgia was dominant on the boards, winning that by a 53-29 margin. The Lady Dogs came into the game shooting 36 percent from the field and 23 percent from beyond the 3-point line. They were only marginally better Sunday, hitting 40 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
If Georgia defeats Savannah State Tuesday, Landers will become the fourth active head coach to win 800 games at one school. He will join men’s coaches Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and Connecticut women’s coach Gene Auriemma.