- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - It’s been 20 years since Georgia last missed the NCAA tournament.

Andy Landers, the Lady Bulldogs’ coach since 1979-80, is hardly pleased that Georgia has put itself at the mercy of the selection committee.

“Every team in the NCAA has the ability to create the opportunity and take the hope out of the hands of those who will decide,” Landers said. “We didn’t do that. So now we are hopeful, and hopeful isn’t where you want to be day in and day out.”

Erika Ford scored 10 points and Krista Donald pulled down 13 rebounds in Georgia’s 67-48 loss to No. 5 South Carolina in the third round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday.

Alaina Coates scored 13 points, Ibiam added 12 points and South Carolina took an easy 67-48 victory over Georgia in the third round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday.

The top-seeded Gamecocks (27-3) advanced to the tournament semifinals for the second time in three years. Before 2011, South Carolina had never played past the quarterfinals.

Georgia’s concern is making the NCAA field.

The Lady Bulldogs upset Stanford last year in the Sweet Sixteen, their ninth trip to that round since 2000. They’ve been in the Sweet Sixteen nine times since 2000, but last made the Final Four in 1999.

“Do I think we should be in? Yes,” Landers said. “Are we one of the 64 best teams in the country? Absolutely. Are we in unfamiliar territory? Yes. I don’t think our players understand that. Most of our team wasn’t born the last time we didn’t play in the NCAA tournament. Now, this is either 20 in a row or we’ve set a new streak for not going.”

Alaina Coates scored 13 points finished with 13 points, Elem Ibiam added 12 and SEC player of the year Tiffany Mitchell finished with 11 points for South Carolina, which led the entire game.

South Carolina filled Georgia’s passing lanes, ran through screens to pressure the perimeter and essentially never gave the ninth-seeded Lady Bulldogs (20-11) much of a chance.

Offensively, the Gamecocks’ 6-foot-4 tandem of Ibiam and Coates proved too tough for Georgia.

“I thought they played with renewed energy coming off the Tennessee loss (last Sunday), and it was great to get back to playing efficient basketball,” South Carolina coach Staley said. “I thought the perimeter players played a little bit fast today - had a lot of energy.

“But it was good to pound that ball inside and allow our post players to go to work and let everyone exhale a little bit to get their nerves right.”

The Gamecocks were particularly efficient at getting their offense out in transition, scoring often and easily as Georgia failed to defend in a timely fashion.

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