The Georgia basketball team leading the way in Athens isn’t the men, but the women who are a dominant force that could likely beat the men right now.
They picked up a huge win last night, as they defeated No.2 ranked NC State on the road in overtime. This victory gave the Lady Dogs their first-ever road victory over a top 2 opponent.
The Dawgs kept NC State at bay for much of the first half and were up 46-36 midway through the third quarter.
However, the Wolfpack showed why they were the No. 2 team in the country by battling back and taking the lead in the final quarter in regulation.
Georgia basketball, led by the Lady Dogs, proves they are the top Dawg on the courts in Athens.
Sophomore Sarah Barker made the play of the game, drilling a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 75-75, sending this exciting game into overtime. Jenna Staiti and Que Morrison both had 20 point games. Staiti also added 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 9-1 on the season. Their nine victories so far are tied for second-most in the conference behind 11-0, and No. 1 ranked South Carolina, who was the only other team that has beaten NC State this season.
Head coach Joni Taylor has the Bulldogs playing at an elite level. Taylor is 119-65 overall as Georgia’s head coach and has taken the team to three NCAA Tournaments. They look to be heading back this year with the way they have played so far.
She has continued the winning ways established by her predecessor Andy Landers. In his 30+ year coaching career in Athens, Landers won seven SEC championships, made 23 NCAA Tournaments, and had five Final Four appearances.
It is not a stretch to say that the women’s basketball team is miles ahead of the men’s team, who have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2015. Sure, the men’s team has had big names like Dominique Wilkins and Anthony Edwards, but the team overall has not come close to achieving the success the ladies have had.
Men’s head coach Tom Crean hasn’t brought the success that so many expected out of him when he arrived at Georgia in 2018. One could argue the team has regressed. At least eight players from last year’s team transferred out, and the team recently lost Jailyn Ingram due to injury for the season, leaving very little depth on the roster.
Transfers and injuries are bound to happen to a program, but the coaching staff has not done a great job of recruiting to replace those who transfer out. After a strong 2019 class that included Anthony Edwards, Georgia finished 2020 with the No.17 ranked class. 2021 was the worst, as Georgia finished with the 60th ranked class.
Meanwhile, the women’s team has signed two ESPN Top 100 players for the 2022 class. One of them is Janiah Barker, the No. 3 overall player.
This upset over No. 2 NC State proved again that the Lady Dogs are the superior basketball team at Georgia. For decades, they have shown that basketball success is possible, and the men’s teams will need to take a page from Taylor’s playbook if they want to catch up. Heck, if she wants to coach the men, too, it should be welcomed.