Lady Bulldogs Fall to Number One South Carolina


Georgia’s Lady Bulldogs succumbed to undefeated South Carolina, taking a bitter loss at home.

The Georgia Lady Bulldogs played short-handed against the best team in the country Thursday night. South Carolina predictably took advantage and ran away from Georgia halfway through the first half on the way to a 58-35 defeat of the Lady Bulldogs.

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Georgia played its fourth consecutive game against a top 10 team Thursday night with a short bench due to injuries and suspensions. A Lady Bulldog season that began with the promise of a 12 game win streak is on the verge unraveling in the tough Southeastern Conference.

South Carolina leads the SEC in almost every meaningful statistic and they dominated Georgia in all phases of the game, holding Georgia to 21 percent shooting, 11 percent 3-point shooting and out rebounding the Dawgs 49–38 while shooting 38 percent  from the field and 37 percent in 3-point shooting.

Georgia fought gamely out the outset and the 58 point total for South Carolina, 20 points below its league leading average, is testimony to the Bulldog effort. But Georgia scored only four points in a seven-minute first half stretch. The Dawgs ended the half down 30-14. The second half was academic.

For the Lady Dawgs, McKenzie Ingram scored eight , Tiaria Griffin seven and Pachis Roberts five. The big guns for the Gamecocks were Bianca Cuevas with 16 and Tiffany Mitchell with 14.

Georgia is now 17-6, 5-5 in the Southeastern Conference.  South Carolina remains unbeaten. An eye catching statistical pair, Andy Landers remains eight wins away from career victory 950 and the Lady Bulldogs remain three wins away from program victory 900. The Lady Bulldogs are 3-17 all-time against opponents ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, including an 0-7 record at Stegeman Coliseum.

Player notes:

Tiaria Griffin and Mackenzie Engram earned Conference accolades during January.

Griffin was named the league’s Player of the Week on Jan. 12. Engram was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 26.

Griffin scored a team-high 16 points in wins over Missouri and Auburn while hitting 50.0 percent of her 3-pointers and 87.5 percent of her free throws. With Georgia trailing 47-46 at Auburn with 3:44 remaining, Griffin hit back-to-back 3-pointers within 55 seconds to put Georgia ahead for good. She also had team highs of two assists and three steals versus the Tigers.

Engram averaged 15.0 ppg and led Georgia in scoring against tenth ranked Texas A&M and fifth ranked Tennessee. She connected on 68.8 percent of field goals, 66.7 percent of 3-point attempts and 100 percent of her free throws. Engram entered the week averaging 7.3 points per game, but more than doubled that production to up her average to 8.0 ppg.

Engram is among 11 Lady Bulldogs who have earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for a combined 22 times since the award’s inception in 2005-06.

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