Pierce had 18 points Monday night in an 85-71 win over Texas Christian. It was the second straight good effort from the junior from Pensacola, Fla., who had 17 Saturday against Liberty.
But it didn’t come right away.
“It’s the same thing every time,” Landers said. “We put her in, leave her in for five seconds, she doesn’t get a rebound and we take her out and have a little heart-to-heart. We remind her of how far she is from Athens and what might happen if she were to miss the bus, and then we put her back in.
“It’s true, we have that talk every game. I want to tape it.”
If listening to a Landers’ lecture every night is what it takes, Pierce seems willing.
“I just want to do whatever I can to help this team because I’m not ready to go home,” she said after playing 21 minutes thanks to the foul trouble of Christi Thomas. “I want this team to go as far as it can, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”
Pierce, who finished the game with seven rebounds, tied her career high for points and had her first back-to-back double-digit outputs since early February.
WHAT ABOUT HER?: Landers chided reporters late Monday night for overlooking the performance of freshman forward Rebecca Rowsey. Rowsey is a starter but was averaging fewer than three points and just three rebounds per game coming in.
She had five points, five rebounds and four assists against TCU. More importantly, Landers said, she didn’t turn the ball over at all.
“In games past, she would have thrown that thing away two or three times,” he said.
BONUS POINTS: The Lady Bulldogs got six unexpected points in the first half on a 3-pointer each by Rowsey and Thomas. Rowsey’s trey was her first of the season. She had attempted six coming into the game. Thomas’ was her fifth of the year on 21 attempts.
UNFAMILIAR FOE: The Lady Bulldogs will play either second-seeded Purdue or seventh-seeded Villanova in the Sweet 16 in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday. Those two teams play today in Ames, Iowa, and either would represent a new face for Georgia. The Lady Dogs have never played Purdue and have played Villanova only once.
Georgia’s game will tip off at either 9 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.
DISTINGUISHED GUEST: Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley, whose contract runs out in three months, attended Monday night’s game to support the Lady Bulldogs. Senior associate A.D. Damon Evans, who will take over for Dooley on July 1 came to Saturday’s first round game.
TCU athletic director Eric Hyman was also in attendance. Hyman and Evans were two of the three finalists to replace Dooley.
SMALL CHEERING SECTION: Not many Georgia fans made the trip up the East Coast to see the Lady Bulldogs play. Of the announced attendance of 2,047, only about 50 of them were decked in red and black.
THIS AND THAT: Back-to-back Florida 4A players of the year were on the court together Monday when Pierce and TCU’s Sandora Irvin squared off in the paint. Pierce won the award in 2000, and Irvin earned it a year later. Irvin is the niece of former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin. ... TCU started three seniors, a junior and a freshman Monday. Georgia started one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen. ... This year’s Final Four will be played in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.