SPOKANE, Wash. - The No. 4-seeded Georgia women's basketball team used a 65-60 win over No. 5 Iowa State Monday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane to move on to the "Sweet 16" of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Championships.
The Lady Bulldogs (27-6) will remain in town in the Spokane Regional, and will meet the winner of Tuesday night's second round match-up between top-seeded Stanford and No. 8 Michigan.
Freshman Shacobia Barbee led the Lady Bulldogs tonight with her career-high 20-point effort, as the rookie now has eight double-digit games on the season. Senior Anne Marie Armstrong had 13 points, while fellow senior Jasmine Hassell had nine to go along with eight rebounds.
"It was very much the game that we thought it would be, and we have nothing but respect for Iowa State and the job that they did," said Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "They were very good tonight. They shot the three ball very well. They took advantage of their size in the paint and [Anna] Prins played that out exceptionally well. Just a well-coached game from Iowa State's part. They did what they needed to do, and really did a nice job with it on the defensive end. They were on point."
Monday's first half was a back-and-forth affair featuring five ties and three lead changes, with each team leading by no more than four points over the first 20 minutes.
The freshman Barbee led the Lady Bulldogs in the first half, tallying 10 points in 14 minutes while Armstrong had eight. After Iowa State took an 18-14 lead with 10:38 to go on a short jumper inside for Prins, Armstrong answered with a three down the other end followed by a lay-up on the next possession to give the Lady Dogs the lead at 19-18 with 9:31 to go. Armstrong then hit another three to put Georgia on top 22-18 with 8:55 to go in the first, capping her own 8-0 run.
A three for ISU's Nikki Moody with under seven to go in the opening period cut it to 22-21, and the teams continued to trade buckets over the next few minutes. Georgia took another four-point lead, this time at 27-23 with 4:32 to go, on a long-ranger from the freshman Marjorie Butler. With the game tied once again at 29-29, Tiaria Griffin got in on the three-point action to make it 32-29, but Moody closed the half with one of her own with just six ticks remaining and the squads headed to the intermission locked at 32-32.
The second half started slow, and the score was still knotted ? 34-34 ? with over four minutes gone by on just a Barbee lay-up and a pair of free throws for Iowa State with 15:57 to go.
The Lady Bulldogs wound up opening the half on a 10-2 run that gave them a 42-34 lead with 13:03 remaining. Georgia would lead by as many as 14 with 8:51 to play, but sparked by back-to-back threes from Chelsea Poppens and Prins, the Cyclones cut into the lead with a 19-1 run that put Iowa State in front by four, 56-52, with 2:32 on the clock.
Consecutive threes by Barbee and Armstrong put UGA back on top by two, 58-56, with 1:33 left, but another long-range shot by Hallie Christofferson gave ISU the 59-58 advantage with 1:18 on the clock. That's when a reverse lay-up in traffic from Armstrong and three clutch free throws from Barbee would separate the Lady Bulldogs again, with Georgia taking a 63-59 lead in what became a two-possession game with 13 seconds left.
Iowa State missed two shots on its next possession, and one late free throw wasn't enough as Georgia would add one final score to finish with the five-point edge and "Sweet 16" bound.
Tonight gave the program and Landers their 20th all-time "Sweet 16" berth in 30 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia will face off against either Stanford or Michigan on Sat., March 30 at the Spokane Arena.