ATHENS -- An unofficial rule of coaching is that early in a season a head coach must find something wrong with the way his team played.
Sometimes, however, it’s pointless.
Such it was after the Georgia women’s basketball team demolished Mercer 72-41 on Thursday night in a game the Bulldogs led by 35 with 12 minutes left.
Georgia head coach Andy Landers, asked afterwards if there was anything not to feel good about, thought a second.
“No, not really,” he said.
Landers’ team played so flawlessly that Mercer head coach Suzie Gardner didn’t rip her own team’s performance. Gardner, who played at Georgia for Landers in the early 1980s, summed it by saying, “We weren’t at our best, and Georgia played pretty well.”
Mercer (1-2) did have its issues, especially shooting 4-for-27 in the first half. And there were transition defense problems, too.
“They got so many transition layups on us,” Gardner said. “We weren’t getting back, and they were just kind of toying with us on that end.”
She wasn’t kidding. Late in the second half Georgia’s Khaalidah Miller made a behind-the-back pass on the break to Shacobia Barbee, who laid it in for a 63-33 lead.
Barbee had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead Georgia and was one of four Georgia players to score in double figures. The Bulldogs didn’t shoot the ball well in the halfcourt but easily made up for it with transition points. Mercer’s misses and 22 turnovers saw to that.
Mercer was obliterated on the perimeter and not just in transition. The Bears shot 23 percent from the field, with five players, including four starters, combining to shoot 0-for-28.
Junior center Teanna Robinson was a bright spot for Mercer, blocking nine shots, along with 13 rebounds. Freshman Ana Anderson also chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds.
“We’ve got a good group here; we’re not gonna hang our heads,” Garnder said. “Our kids, they played hard. They didn’t quit trying.”
Landers is only playing one senior and two juniors. So given the youth, he was more than pleased.
“Kids learned, and you could see them getting smarter as the game went on,” Landers said. “We’re making progress. We’ve just gotta play, and we’ve gotta have other people hold our feet to the fire.”