ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—Jasmine James had a smile on her face for much of Saturday night’s game, and it was easy to see why.
“What’s neat about it is she looks like she’s having a good time,” coach Andy Landers said. “The kid is out there playing extremely hard. And being extremely effective on both ends of the floor. A senior, playing really hard, really smart and making a lot of plays.”
The Lady Bulldogs (7-0) held New Mexico to 29 percent shooting and forced 24 turnovers. The Lobos (5-1) had just 15 field goals for the game.
“They trap off ball screens and trap in the corners,” Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “They are just so long. We talked about that in the shootaround, about getting to the middle and flattening out that zone. We just didn’t do a good job of it.”
Jasmine Hassell scored 15 for Georgia, which carried a 40-17 lead into halftime. Reserve Merritt Hempe had nine rebounds.
Sara Halasz scored 14 points for New Mexico, and Caroline Durbin had 12 points and nine rebounds. But no other player on the Lobos scored more than seven.
Georgia led 20-5 10 minutes into the game. It finished with 11 steals and 24 fast-break points.
“It was a very good defensive effort,” Landers said.
New Mexico had hoped to get a lift from its usually large and partisan crowd, but Landers said the Bulldogs were ready for it.
“I told the team, `Let’s embrace that challenge and let’s have fun with it,”’ he said. “‘When they run out of the tunnel it’s going to get loud. You have to enjoy that. Great teams have the ability to be inspired and motivated, not scared by an environment like this and I thought our team responded the right way.”
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