Freshman Erika Ford made the most of her first career start on Sunday, posting game- and career-high tallies of 18 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 10 Georgia (5-1) to an 81-61 win over Northeastern (0-6) in the consolation game of the UNLV Lady Rebel Round-up.
Classmate Krista Donald also started for the first time at UGA and chipped in seven points (on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor), five rebounds and a team-best four assists.
“I thought they both played well,” coach Andy Landers said. “I thought Ford was great defensively and very good on the offensive end. I thought the same about Donald. We were really shuffling the lineup to try to find someone to embrace the role of being a starter.”
The Lady Dawgs built a double-digit lead early and led comfortably throughout but didn’t put the game out of reach until midway through the second half. Georgia led 50-40 from the 14:17 mark through 10:33 before a pair of Jasmine Hassell free throws, a Donald three and a layup from Jasmine James pushed the margin to 17 just 70 seconds later.
Hassell also scored 18 points and Khaalidah Miller chipped in 16, her sixth double-figure outing in as many contests this season.
Georgia improved to 427-7 all-time when scoring 80 or more points during Landers’ 33 seasons in Athens.
Five different Lady Dawgs scored in a 12-0 run covering just 3:42 that put Georgia up 17-5 with 13:17 left in the half. Georgia expanded its lead to 17 points twice before the Huskies chipped away with a 10-0 run of their own to close within 36-29 with 51 second left in the period.
Donald and Ford became the 68th and 69th freshmen to start for Landers at Georgia. Ford responded with her first double-digit scoring performance of the year before the intermission with 10 first-half points.
The Lady Dawgs will return to action on Wednesday when they host South Carolina State at Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET.
Reserved seat tickets for the game are $5 for adults and $3 for children and will be available at the Butts-Mehre ticket office from 8:30-4:30 on Wednesday and Thursday. In addition, tickets will go on sale at Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 90 minutes before tip-off.