Fueled by a 16-point night from Tiaria Griffin, the No. 20 Georgia Lady Bulldogs defeated Missouri 69-48 on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum. With the victory, Georgia remains undefeated at home with 10-straight wins.
The Lady Bulldogs improve to 14-2 on the year with a 2-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play, while the Tigers fall to 10-6 (0-3 SEC).
Griffin led Georgia’s shooting campaign with 16 points, and Shacobia Barbee added 12 points. Krista Donald tallied a team-best nine rebounds.
Missouri opened the game on a quick, four-second drive to the basket, but Georgia took the lead less than a minute later after sophomore Pachis Roberts, in her first career start, recorded a steal and sunk a layup. The Tigers hit multiple 3-pointers to stay within striking distance for most of the first period, however.
With a 21-18 lead nearing the break, Barbee hit a jumper to ignite a Georgia run. Marjorie Butler capitalized on a Missouri turnover, hitting consecutive shots, one from behind the arc, and Barbee added another basket to put the Lady Bulldogs up 30-18 at halftime.
Georgia continued its run in the second stanza, outscoring the Tigers 14-4 in the opening minutes of the half. Spanning both periods, the Lady Bulldogs kept Missouri away from the basket for more than eight minutes. But the Tigers rallied, narrowing the deficit from 23 points to 14 in a short 3:09. Griffin put Georgia back in control on a 3-pointer that was followed shortly by a jumper from Mackenzie Engram. Erika Ford and Jasmine Carter added shots in the final minutes of the game to give Georgia a 20-point advantage.
“It was an excellent team effort,” head coach Andy Landers said. “That’s what it was going to take because when you run people off as many screens as they do and the motion that they do defensively, you have to have five people ready to help each other and ready to jump switch. And I thought we were really good.”
Georgia capitalized on turnovers, converting 22 Missouri miscues into 29 points, while the Tigers managed only six points on 11 Lady Bulldog turnovers. Georgia also tallied 12 second-change points and 31 points from the bench.
The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (12-5, 2-1 ACC) held off Boston College (8-7, 0-2), 80-77, in an exciting game that featured 10 lead changes at Conte Forum on a chilly Thursday night.
With the score knotted at 76-76 with 2:08 remaining, a jump shot by sophomore Kaela Davisgave the Jackets a two point lead, 78-76. Roughly 34 seconds later, freshman Imani Tilford fouled Nicole Brodreau, who went made her first foul shot, but missed her second. Junior Aaliyah Whiteside was there to grab the rebound and drew a foul. Whiteside missed her first shot of her one and-one but freshman Zaire O’Neilgrabbed the offensive board and put it back to give the Jackets an 80-77 advantage.
The Jackets were able to hold off the Eagles in the final 1:02 and Kelly Hughes’3-point game-tying attempt went wide to secure the Yellow Jackets second ACC victory.
“I’m just really proud of the way our players played in the second half,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I thought we got up early and we showed a lot of aggressiveness in the first half. Then we kind of relaxed and they got back in the game. I thought we did a great job down the stretch.”
The victory was the 600th win in Georgia Tech women’s basketball program history. Tech is now 600-566 all-time in women’s basketball. Joseph also recently hit a milestone in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history. Joseph became the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech history after recording her 224th win against Clemson to move into first all-time in wins as a head coach on Sunday, Jan. 4th. Joseph’s career record is 225-139 in 12 seasons at the helm of the Jackets.
“I thought Zaire O’Neil, our freshman, was key,” Joseph said. “I thought Kaela Davis took over in the second half. I thought she showed up and showed what a special player she is. Zaire O’Neil, to get that offensive rebound and put back on the free throw line, was a game changer.”
After her 27 points against the Eagles, Davis now has 946 career points, putting her just 54 points away from becoming the 28thYellow Jacket to score 1,000 career points. Davis, who has played in 49 career games, is on track to become the fastest player to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Dolores Bootz (1985-88) and Joyce Pierce (1991-93) both reached the milestone in 55 games. She is currently averaging a team-best 20.7 points per game.
Her 27 points marked the ninth time this season that Davis has scored at least 20 points in a game. She scored 18 of her team-best 27 points in the second half.
Whiteside hit double-figures before halftime, scoring 12 points and leading the Jackets on the boards with four in the first 20 minutes of play. Her 20 points marked her 10th double figure game of the season and her second 20 point game of the year. Both Whiteside and fellow junior Roddreka Rogersled the Jackets on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds apiece.
O’Neil also scored in double-figures, recording 15 points and a team-high two blocks. Tilford led the Jackets in steals with five.
The Yellow Jackets started off with a quick 7-2 lead but the Eagles climbed within two points of Tech’s 9-7 lead at 16:16. The Yellow Jackets drew six fouls in the first 7:25 minutes of the game and went 9-for-10 during the span from the charity stripe on its way to a 20-11 lead at 12:35.
Tech would extend its lead even further on a 7-0 run that spanned just 52 seconds to go ahead 14 points at 9:34, 27-13, its largest lead of the game. The Eagles chipped away at the Yellow Jackets’ lead with their own run, scoring 12 unanswered points to come within two points of Tech, 27-25.
The Yellow Jackets let their lead slip away and trailed by 39-34 with 2:24 to go until halftime. A 3-point basket from Whiteside pulled Tech within one point of the Eagles, but sophomore Katarina Vuckovic’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds of the first half fell short and Georgia Tech headed into the locker room down by a point, 39-38.
The two opponents, who were meeting for the 13th time in school history, traded baskets in the beginning two minutes of the second half until the Eagles pulled away by four again, 50-46.
A quick 6-0 run put Tech back ahead, but the Eagles stayed close, 54-52, and made it a tie ball game at 56 all with 12:58 remaining. Davis went on a 9-6 run on her own to push the Yellow Jackets ahead, 65-63 with 7:31 on the clock.
The Eagles caught up with the Jackets again and tied it at 69-69 with just 5:41 to go. The lead bounced back and forth between the two teams for the remainder of the game until O’Neil’s put back sealed the victory of the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia State turned the ball over 24 times, leading to 28 points for UL Lafayette, as the host Ragin’ Cajuns won 68-52 in a Sun Belt women’s basketball game.
The Panthers (7-6, 2-2) did not have a player score in double figures as the five starters were pulled from the game at 18:45 and sat for the next 14 minutes. Six-foot-two starter Haley Gerrin was injured and didn’t make the trip. Six-foot-four center Brittany Logan had two fouls in the first seven minutes and didn’t play the remainder of the first half and just 12 minutes overall.
UL Lafayette (9-4, 1-3) got 20 points from Jaylyn Gordon, including six of nine 3-point baskets. The Cajuns allowed just 57 points per game to rank in the top 50 and average forcing 21 turnoves per game.
Visiting GSU jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead five minutes into the game and were still leading at 15-12 with 8:30 in the half when the host Ragin’ Cajuns made their big run. UL Lafayette scored 14 straight points to make it 26-15 with 4:56 in the half. GSU closed back to 28-23, but UL Lafayette went back up 38-26 at halftime.
In the second half, Gordon hit her fifth trey at 18:45 to make it 41-28 and coach Baldwin-Tener pulled all five starters and put five new players in the game.The Cajuns took full advantage and built the lead to 20 points at 52-32 at 13:32.
“We weren’t paying attention to what we were doing tonight,” coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “Our players had a frustrating night against their pressure, but that is what they do and that is what we had worked on, so we weren’t surprised at the pressure, but surprised at how we didn’t handle it.”
“We were rushing our shots and we fouled too much, so all we can do it look ahead to the next game on Saturday and try to get another win,” coach added.
Georgia State did have a 39-37 rebound advantage with a career-high seven rebounds from reserve Ashanti Groover and seven rebounds from freshman Kennesha Nichols.
Nichols had nine points, Groover eight points and Ashley Watson eight points to top the offense. The Panthers shot just 36.7 percent for the game. GSU made just 3 of 14 3-point shots (21.4%) after coming in leading the Sun Belt.
GSU committed 24 fouls with UL Lafayette cashing in with 27 free throws and 14 more points.
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