Georgia Women’s Basketball Wins SEC Opener, 58-51
SOURCE: GEORGIA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS
Behind a season-high 18 points from senior forward Stephanie Paul, the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference opener, 58-51, Thursday evening at The Pavilion.
Georgia has won seven of its last nine games this season and improves to 10-4 overall ahead of Sunday’s matchup against No. 14 Mississippi State at Stegeman Coliseum.
“It’s really important to win that first SEC game and it’s always great to win on the road,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “We just grinned it out in the fourth quarter and Stephanie stepped up for us. This was a great team win.”
The Lady Bulldogs missed their first seven shots in the game and found themselves in an early 7-0 hole. Georgia then went on a 13-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Gabby Connally, to take a 13-7 lead halfway through the opening period.
Ole Miss followed with an 8-0 spurt as Deja Cage nailed a shot at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 15-13 lead at the end of one.
The Rebels went cold in the second quarter, and were unable to hit a basket in the first five minutes of the period. Georgia reclaimed the lead, 22-19, with 3:29 remaining before the half.
Valerie Nesbitt led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with eight points to give her team a slim 28-27 lead at the break.
Georgia held the Rebels without a field goal through the first five minutes of the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs sent Ole Miss to the line with five team fouls just over four minutes into the second half. Still, Georgia led 33-32 with 4:41 on the clock in the third.
Paul produced the only offense for Georgia in the third period as she helped her team build a 39-37 advantage going into the final frame.
Connally delivered a perfect pass to Jordan Isaacs, who knocked in Georgia’s first bucket of the fourth period, before Paul converted an and-one to force a Rebel timeout at the 6:19 mark.
Georgia went on a 9-0 run and held on the rest of the way to claim it’s first SEC win of the season.
The Lady Bulldogs host Mississippi State at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.