Updated at: 01/03/2013 7:37 PM
(AP) ATHENS, Ga. - Jasmine James scored 16 points to help No. 10 Georgia beat Missouri 77-46 Thursday night in the Tigers’ first Southeastern Conference game.
Khaalidah Miller and Marjorie Butler added 11 points apiece for Georgia (13-1, 1-0).
Bri Kulas scored 14 points and Morgan Eye had 13 for Missouri (11-4, 0-1).
The Tigers came in as the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooting team, averaging 10 per game. The Tigers were only 5 for 22 against the Lady Bulldogs.
Georgia coach Andy Landers used a platoon system in the first half, substituting five players at a time. Georgia’s pressure limited the Tigers to 3-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, and two of those came in the final 1:42.
The Lady Dogs pushed the ball on the other end, getting 10 points in the first half from James to build a 45-23 at the break.
Missouri got two baskets by forward Liz Smith to start a 7-0 run at the start of the second half to cut into Georgia’s lead.
However, when Meredith Hempe came off the bench, the first solo substitution of the game for Georgia, she hit a 3-pointer and sank a putback to boost the lead to a 54-32 lead with 14:27 to go.
James pushed the margin to 29 when she stole the inbounds pass after a free throw by Griffin and scored on a quick layup, making it 73-44 with 6:20 remaining.
Georgia led from the start. It was a tenuous 11-9 lead when Landers made his first 5-for-5 substitution with 14:22 to go in the half. The reserves started a 16-2 run, with 3-pointers by Marjorie Butler, Tiaria Griffin and Krista Donald.
The starters finished off the run, with Miller capping it with two transition baskets to extend the lead to 29-13.
Georgia’s biggest lead of the first half came with 1:32 to go when Miller hit Georgia’s sixth three of the first half to make it 45-20 only 17 seconds before the half.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)