WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Georgia vs Kentucky Game Notes

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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Georgia vs Kentucky Game Notes

Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated

Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg

Illustrated

 

Georgia vs Kentucky

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 | Stegeman Coliseum | 2 p.m. ET

TV: SEC Network + Matt Stewart (PBP), Kiesha Brown (Analyst)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network by IMG (Jeff Dantzler, PBP)

Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com

Twitter: @UGA_WBB

 

The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team will face its third-straight top-20 opponent as the team welcomes No. 10 Kentucky to Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. ET on SEC Network +.

 

Opening Tip — Five Things To Know

Georgia will face its third ranked team in as many games when the Lady Bulldogs host No. 10 Kentucky. Following a 12-1 non-conference record, the Lady Bulldogs have lost two straight to top-20 teams to open the SEC schedule.

The Lady Bulldogs held leads in each of their first two SEC losses. In fact, Georgia was up by five in the fourth quarter against No. 20 Missouri this past Thursday, but only scored five points in the final nine minutes of the loss. Against Texas A&M last Sunday, Georgia led by as many as seven early in the game.

Georgia enters Sunday’s contest against the Wildcats with the No. 1 scoring defense in the SEC, holding opponents to 51.6 ppg. The Lady Bulldogs are also second in the league in FG pct. defense (33%) and first in 3-pt. FG pct. defense (24.5%). The UGA school record low for opponents points per game is 53.9, which was set by the 2012-13 NCAA Elite 8 team.

The Lady Bulldogs own the top assist-to-turnover mark (8th nationally) in the SEC and perhaps even more impressive is that UGA guards Marjorie Butler and Shacobia Barbee rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. As a team, Georgia commits just 12.7 turnovers per game (top mark in the SEC) and dish out 17.5 assists per contest (tops in the SEC).

Barbee has recorded back-to-back double-doubles to begin SEC play and leads the team in several statistical categories, including rebounds (9.4 per game), assists (71), steals (37) and minutes played (32.1 per game).

 

A Georgia Win Would … 

– Be Georgia’s first SEC win of the season. The Lady Bulldogs’ last SEC victory came in the 2015 SEC Tournament against Missouri.

– Improve Georgia’s record to 13-3 under first-year head coach Joni Taylor.

– Give the Lady Bulldogs their second win against a ranked opponent this season. UGA defeated then-No. 21 Seton Hall, 70-52, on Dec. 6 at Stegeman Coliseum.

– Improve Georgia’s record to 10-1 at home this season. The Lady Bulldogs won nine-straight to open the year before falling to No. 20 Missouri on Thursday.

 

Series Information 

Overall: Georgia leads, 36-15

In Athens: Georgia leads, 17-4

In Lexington:  Georgia leads, 13-9

Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 6-2

Current Streak: Kentucky, 1-0

Last Meeting: Kentucky won, 80-72 (2/1/15) Lexington, Ky.

 

Scouting Kentucky 

No. 10 Kentucky enters Sunday’s game with an even 1-1 record in SEC play. The Wildcats lost their SEC opener at Auburn, 66-61, before downing Alabama, 73-48, on Thursday. Four players average in double figures for the Wildcats, led by Makayla Epps’ 16.3 points per game. Kentucky was picked preseason No. 5 in the SEC and started the year 11-0.

 

Last Time Out

Shacobia Barbee registered her second double-double in as many conference games with 10 points and 14 rebounds, but a gritty comeback effort from the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team fell short in an upset bid against No. 20 Missouri by a 54-48 final score on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

Behind Tiaria Griffin’s 14 points on top of Barbee’s 10 second-half points, Georgia overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to take the lead into the fourth quarter and led by as many as five before the scoring went cold. The home squad scored only five points over the game’s final 9:12 as Georgia lost for the first time at home this season.

“We dug ourselves a hole early in the game,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “We got down early in the first quarter. I felt like, uncharacteristically of us, we took some quick shots, we weren’t in the flow of our offense, and we were trying to play from behind. It was a great effort on their part to come back in the third quarter.”

 

Georgia Notebook

 

Strong Start One Of Best In SEC

The 12-1 start for head coach Joni Taylor ties for the third-best start by an SEC coach in his or her first season at a school since women’s basketball became an NCAA sport. Pokey Chatman (13-0, LSU in 2004-05) and Tom Collen (13-0, Arkansas in 2007-08) are the only two to have better starts through their first 13 games.

 

14 Opponents Below 40 … Lady Bulldogs Getting Defensive

Georgia has held 14 of 15 opponents below 40-percent shooting this season and has held nine of 15 teams to their respective season lows in scoring. No. 16 Texas A&M became the first opponent to shoot above 40 percent in a game against Georgia this season as the Aggies hit 45 percent in the game.

 

Griffin, Barbee Moving Up In The Record Books 

– Georgia’s senior duo of Tiaria Griffin and Shacobia Barbee are leaving their mark on the Lady Bulldog record book. Griffin

currently ranks sixth in Georgia history with 182 career 3-point baskets and is third in the SEC in made 3-point field goals this season with 36.

After missing the last 10 games of the season a year ago due to an injury, Barbee stormed back for the Lady Bulldogs in the first game of the year vs. Stetson, recording a triple-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against the Hatters — becoming just the third Lady Bulldog player all-time to reach a triple-double (Teresa Edwards, 1986; Tracy Henderson, 1995). Barbee ranks ninth in school history in steals with 248 in her career.

 

Lady Bulldogs Faced Strong Non-Conference Slate

The Lady Bulldogs faced five 20-win teams and seven schools that advanced to post-season play last season during the 2015-16 non-conference schedule. Georgia played five teams that competed in the postseason a year ago – Stetson (23 wins, NIT) on Nov. 15, Georgia Tech (19 wins, NIT) on Nov. 22, Mercer (20 wins, WBI) on Dec. 2, Seton Hall (28 wins, NCAA) on Dec. 6 and Furman (19 wins, WBI) on Dec. 8, winning each contest.

 

Robinson Named SEC Freshman Of The Week On Dec. 29

– Georgia freshman forward Caliya Robinson has had a strong start to her Lady Bulldog career. Robinson was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Dec. 29 after averaging nearly a double-double in wins against Cincinnati and Tennessee Tech. The Marietta, Ga., native currently leads the Lady Bulldogs in blocked shots with 14 and is averaging 6.3 points per game to go along with 5.1 boards per contest.

 

56-Straight Is Nation’s Best

– The Lady Bulldogs’ 56-game home non-conference win streak ranks as the top mark in NCAA DI women’s basketball. Georgia’s last loss at home vs. a non-conference team came in 2008 — a 56-44 loss to Xavier on Dec. 30, 2008. Georgia has gone eight-straight seasons with an undefeated home non-conference record.

 

In-State Dominance

Georgia has won 19-straight games against teams from the state of Georgia, including a 4-0 record this season. The Lady Bulldogs’ last loss to an in-state team came on Dec. 5, 2010 against Georgia Tech. Georgia is 104-35 all-time against NCAA Division I teams from the Peach State.

 

Win No. 900 For Georgia Basketball

– Not only was the win against Stetson the first of the Joni Taylor era, it was also the 900th victory in program history. Georgia is one of 13 programs in NCAA Division I women’s basketball to reach 900 wins or more. The Lady Bulldogs enter play this week with a 911-387 mark in 43 years as a program.

 

Thanksgiving Classic Champions

– Georgia capped of its Thanksgiving with a Championship run in the 2015 Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic, downing BYU and Cal State Northridge in consecutive days to claim the title. Tiaria Griffin, who had back-to-back 20-point efforts, was named MVP.

 

Making A Difference In The Community

– Giving back to the community has always been a pivotal part of being a Georgia Lady Bulldog. Players and staff members routinely participate in off-campus events ranging from serving at elementary schools to the team’s annual Bike Build, which raises funds to purchase bicycles and safety helmets for worthy children. The Lady Bulldogs then assemble those bikes before they are distributed. Close to 300 bikes have been built and given away over the past eight years.

This season, Georgia has adopted the fifth-­grade class at Stroud Elementary in Athens. Players and staff members will visit their fifth-­grade class throughout the year. The Lady Bulldogs greeted Stroud Elementary students this past August and hand delivered backpacks during the school’s Meet Your Teacher night.

 

Books And Basketball For Butler

– Georgia senior point guard Marjorie Butler is busy preparing for medical school as she completes her senior season. She entered college with over 50 hours of college credits, and is currently going through medical school interviews. The Knoxville, Tenn., native already has a degree in exercise science and will graduate with a second degree in biology this May.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.