Georgia holds off Iowa State
Freshman Shacobia Barbee didn’t let nerves get to her at the free-throw line.
Senior Jasmine James had the nerve to shoot 3-pointers.
Both factored in to helping Georgia weather a major test Monday night during a 65-60 win over Iowa State in an NCAA women’s basketball tournament second-round game at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Barbee scored 20 points, hitting 3 of 4 from the line in the final 27 seconds, and James uncharacteristically hit two of the Bulldogs’ season-high 12 3-pointers as Georgia (27-6) advanced to its 20th Sweet 16.
“All of (my emotions) were boiling,” Barbee said of heading to the line with the game in the balance. “But I knew it was time to step up, like I practice them, and just try to knock them down. And I did, but I was nervous.”
James had shot 3 of 28 from long range for the season, but with Iowa State’s defensive height inside, the Bulldogs fired away at a season-high pace of 30 attempts. Barbee hit 3 of 7 and senior Anne Marie Armstrong 3 of 8.
“The two 3s that Jasmine James made, for sure, are on me because I said don’t cover her on the 3-point line,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said.
“As far as them letting me shoot the 3-pointer, we won by five points, so I hit two,” James said. “It is what it is. It must have been a good move.”
James, the point guard, had eight rebounds and ran an offense that committed just five turnovers.
Georgia will play either Stanford (32-2) or Michigan (22-10) on Saturday at the Spokane Arena for a berth in the Elite Eight. Stanford and Michigan meet Tuesday in Stanford, Calif.
The Bulldogs outscored Iowa State 7-1 in the final minute to overcome a furious Cyclones rally.
Iowa State (24-9), which had significant minutes from just six players, appeared to be out of gas when freshman Tiaria Griffin’s 3-pointer gave Georgia a 51-37 lead with 8:51 left.
Instead, seniors Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens fueled a 19-1 run that put Iowa State in charge 56-52 with 2:32 left. Prins scored nine during the run, including a 3-pointer to cap it.
Georgia counterpunched with 3-pointers by Barbee and Armstong. Hallie Christofferson’s 3-pointer with 1:18 left gave the Cyclones their final lead, 59-58.
Armstrong’s layup with 59 seconds left and Barbee’s three free throws put Georgia in charge for good. Barbee’s last two free throws came after Prins attempted a 3-pointer from NBA range.
“I knew that time was running out and we needed to get a shot up,” Prins said. “I’m disappointed it didn’t go in, but you can’t look at that.”
“Let me brag for a minute,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “We were terrific on defense. We were really, really good. Prins killed us. Nobody else did.”
Prins and Poppens finished their Iowa State careers in style, Prins with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor, and Poppens with 17 rebounds and 14 points.
“It’s going to end sometime, but there’s no regrets,” Fennelly said. “Just like I told them, no excuses, no regrets. We have none and we are very proud of that.”