Shacobia Barbee recorded her fourth double-double of the season and 15th of her career, but her 17 points and 14 rebounds were unable to help Georgia (12-2, 0-1) overcome a tough No. 13/16 Texas A&M (11-3, 1-0) squad as the Lady Bulldog basketball team fell 73-62 to open conference play.
Tiaria Griffin and Pachis Roberts joined Barbee in scoring double-digits, adding 14 and 13 points, respectively. The SEC opener was Griffin’s ten double-digit scoring performance of the season as well as Roberts’ second such contest. The Lady Bulldogs struggled to find a rhythm from the floor in their first conference game, held by the Aggies to shooting just a .338 clip.
“We didn’t take advantage of opportunities that we had,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “We missed some shots, and we fouled them way too much. It was too easy; we were too passive. We weren’t aggressive, and we weren’t the team that we’ve been defensively. Because of that, we didn’t come down and execute on the offensive end.”
The Lady Bulldogs raced out to a 7-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes, paced by five points from Griffin and two more from Marjorie Butler. The visitors also put on a show on the defensive end in the early running, not allowing a point for the 16th-ranked Aggies until the 4:51 mark of the first quarter and holding the home squad to just two points and forcing six turnovers before the first media timeout. Texas A&M responded after the breather, though, tightening the contest to 13-11 in favor of the Lady Dogs after one period.
The home side took the lead quickly in the second, hitting on three straight shots to claim an 18-13 advantage. The Aggies continued to pour in midrange jumpers for most of the second quarter, at one point going up by 27-17, a 16-4 run over the first 5:08 of the second. Georgia battled, though, led by Griffin’s 12 first-half points to keep the game close at the break at 33-26 for the Aggies.
The teams traded buckets in the early running of the second half, with Georgia never trailing by less than five or more than nine for the first five minutes. Texas A&M pushed the lead to double-digits with a pair of free throws at the 3:38 mark to go ahead 45-34, and the lead was pushed to 15 before Georgia took a timeout to slow the action. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to trim the deficit heading into the final 10 minutes of play, with the Aggies holding a 53-38 edge after three.
Georgia trimmed the Aggie lead to as little as nine in the fourth quarter but was not able to pull even.
The Lady Bulldogs return to Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday as they take on the No. 23 Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m.