Daily Dawg Thread: February 03, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: February 03, 2024

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WGolf: Caterina Don covered Guadalajara Country Club at 4-under par and is in second place at midway point

Caterina Don >>> Photo: Rob Davis/UGAAA

Don led the No. 30-ranked Georgia women’s golf team to a 13-over team effort over a round and a half, placing the Bulldogs in fourth place on the 12-team leaderboard.

In addition for Georgia, Savannah De Bock is tied for 18th at 4-over; Bernice Olivarez Ilas, who is competing individually, is tied for 28th at 6-over; LoraLie Cowart is tied for 35th; Natachanok “Drive” Tunwannarux is tied for 49th at 9-over; and Kate Song is 62nd at 14-over.





Don opened the day with a 2-under 70 and then was 1-under through the front nine of her second round. She’s one stroke off the pace of Ellie Szeryk of SMU.

Don began her first round with a birdie at No. 1 and turned at 1-under after a bogey at No. 3 and an additional birdie at No. 9. She moved to 3-under with birdies at No. 10 and No. 15 before losing one of those strokes with a bogey at. No. 16.

Don notched a birdie to begin her second loop to return to 3-under before wrapping up her day with eight consecutive pars.





In the first round, Georgia counted Don’s 70, a 74 from Tunwannarux, a 75 from De Bock and a 78 from Cowart. At the midway point of the second round, the Bulldogs’ current counters are Don at 1-under, Cowart and De Bock at 1-over and Song at 3-over.

Florida State is 4-over and leads the team field by four strokes over SMU. The rest of the top 10 is in a pack within 11 strokes, with Colorado State at 12-over, the Bulldogs at 13-over, Maryland and Louisville both at 16-over, tournament host Virginia at 17-over, Cal at 1-over, Tennessee at 20-over and N.C. State at 23-over.

Georgia will be paired with SMU and New Mexico for Saturday’s final 27 holes of the event. The Bulldogs, Mustangs and Lobos will tee off beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Live scoring is available via www.golfstat.com.

Collegiate Invitational at Guadalajara County Club

Guadalajara Country Club

Guadalajara, Mexico

Par 72, 6333 Yards

Friday’s 27-Hole Results


Florida State                      +4

SMU                                +8

Colorado State                    +12

Georgia                           +13

Maryland                          +16

Louisville                        +16

Virginia                          +17

Cal                               +19

Tennessee                         +20

N.C. State                        +23

UNLV                              +24

New Mexico                        +33


Ellie Szeryk, SMU                  -4

Caterina Don, Georgia              -3

Mirabel Ting, Florida St.          -2

Lottie Woad, Florida St.           -1

Andrea Bergsdottir, Colorado St.   -1

Carmen Griffiths, Louisville       -1

Mackenzie Lee, SMU                 +1

Amanda Sambach, Virginia           +1

Kaera Kaneshiro, Colorado St.      +2

Adora Liu, Cal                     +2

Patricie Mackova, Maryland         +2


 T18. Savannah De Bock             +4

*T28. Bernice Olivarez Ilas        +6

 T35. LoraLie Cowart               +7

 T49. Drive Tunwannarux            +9

  62. Kate Song                   +14

SEC and B1G form advisory group to address CFB changes

SEC logo

The Big Ten Conference and Southeastern Conference today announced the formation of a joint advisory group of university presidents, chancellors, and athletics directors to address the significant challenges facing college athletics and the opportunities for betterment of the student-athlete experience.  

These challenges, including but not limited to recent court decisions, pending litigation, a patchwork of state laws, and complex governance proposals, compel the two conferences to take a leadership role in developing solutions for a sustainable future of college sports.

The advisory group will engage with other constituencies as necessary, including consultation with student-athletes and other key leadership groups from within both conferences.

“The Big Ten and the SEC have substantial investment in the NCAA and there is no question that the voices of our two conferences are integral to governance and other reform efforts,” said Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti.  “We recognize the similarity in our circumstances, as well as the urgency to address the common challenges we face.”

“There are similar cultural and social impacts on our student-athletes, our institutions, and our communities because of the new collegiate athletics environment,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We do not have predetermined answers to the myriad questions facing us.  We do not expect to agree on everything but enhancing interaction between our conferences will help to focus efforts on common sense solutions.”

The advisory group will have no authority to act independently and will only serve as a consulting body.  Its composition, charter and timetable, as well as the specific questions it might examine, have yet to be determined.

Softball: Preseason look-in in advance of the season opener February 9

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

The 2024 season will be the 28th of Georgia softball in Athens and the third under the direction of head coach Tony Baldwin.

The Bulldogs have received significant praise ahead of the upcoming 2024 campaign, both as a team and individually.

Georgia was picked to finish second in the SEC by the league’s head coaches. The Bulldogs received six first-place votes en route to 136 points, one point shy of preseason favorite Tennessee (137 points, six first-place votes). Jayda Kearney, Sydney Kuma, Sara Mosley, and Shelby Walters were tabbed Preseason All-SEC.

Kearney, Mosley, and Walters were named to the Top 50 Watch List for 2024 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. The 2024 Top 50 Watch List highlights athletes from 28 universities and six athletic conferences with the SEC leading all conferences with 21 athletes.

Georgia will open the season ranked No. 6 in USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The 2024 preseason rankings are the highest since 2019 when Georgia opened the season No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Georgia is ranked No. 6 in both the D1Softball and Softball America polls.

D1Softball named Kearney and Mosley to its First Team Preseason All-America Team with a Second Team nod to Walters. Softball America named Kearney (First Team) and Mosley (Second Team) to its Preseason All-America teams.

Six Bulldogs have been recognized on preseason top 100 lists and position rankings by both D1Softball and Softball America.

The transfer class of catcher Sarah Gordon (Louisville), left-handed pitcher Lilli Backes (North Carolina), and right-handed pitcher Rachel Gibson (Clemson) was ranked the eighth-best transfer class by D1Softball in the fall.

Georgia returns all position players from last season’s Super Regional team including All-Americans Kearney, Kuma, and Mosley. The trio combined for 45 percent of Georgia’s run production and accounted for 52 percent of Georgia’s home runs. Each hit over .340 and slugged north of .700.

All six 2023 All-SEC Team performers return including right-handed pitchers Walters and Madison Kerpics. The pair combined for 37 wins in the circle and 243 strikeouts.

Jayda Kearney

The Bulldogs concluded the 2023 season in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament at third-seeded Florida State. Georgia finished second in the SEC with a 16-7 record, the most wins and highest conference finish since 2018. Overall, the Bulldogs accumulated a 42-15 record in Baldwin’s second season at the helm.

The 2024 season begins Friday, Feb. 9 at home when Georgia hosts the Red & Black Showcase presented by T-Mobile. Murray State, South Dakota, and Purdue will travel to Athens to open the season.

Admission to every regular-season home game is free, no tickets are required for entry to Jack Turner Stadium. Seating is first come, first served. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch or one hour before the first game of the day for home tournaments.

MBB: Georgia (14-7, 4-4 SEC) vs. South Carolina (17-3, 6-2 SEC)

Date: Saturday, February 3

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Venue: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

Location: Athens, Ga.

Series History: SC leads, 63-60

Last Meeting: UGA, 74-69, on 1/16/24

TV: SEC Network (Courtney Lyle, play-by-play; Carolyn Peck, color analyst)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network – SiriusXM 190 or 210 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, color analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

GAME GIVEAWAY: The first 750 UGA students will receive a free inflatable Spike.

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

The Starting Five

• Georgia hosts South Carolina on Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum matinee. UGA defeated USC on Jan. 16. Since then, the Gamecocks are 4-0 with wins over No. 6 Kentucky and No. 5 Tennessee.

• According to KenPom, Georgia is the nation’s most improved defensive team over the past two seasons, ascending from No. 318 in 2021-22 to No. 54 this season – climbing 264 spots.

• Georgia entered the weekend No. 16 nationally in bench points at 30.8 ppg. The Dogs’ reserves have won the bench point battle in 19 of 21 games and sport a scoring margin of +299 (+14.2 ppg).

• Georgia is one of two teams with a higher scoring offense in SEC games over non-conference play. The Bulldogs put up 75.4 ppg in 13 non-league games before averaging 80.3 in SEC outings (+4.9 ppg).

• Three Bulldogs have upped their scoring more than 3.0 ppg from their non-conference numbers – RJ Melendez is +3.8 ppg, Silas Demary Jr. is +3.6 ppg and Russel Tchewa is +3.2 ppg.

The Opening Tip

Georgia wraps up a two-game homestand on Saturday by hosting South Carolina at 1:00 p.m. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs led for 33:49 of regulation before falling to No. 24/22 Alabama.

Georgia is currently 14-7 overall and 4-4 in SEC play – two victories shy of matching the Bulldogs’ overall and SEC win totals from a year ago with 10 regular-season outings remaining.

The Bulldogs are 11-2 at home this season, improving to 24-6 during head coach Mike White’s two campaigns in Athens. The moving of UGA’s student section to touch the playing floor level of the arena prior to this season has produced the intended and desired results. Through four SEC home dates, the student section has been at 138 percent of capacity (we’ll explain that later)

The 2023-24 campaign has been a streaky one for Georgia.

The Bulldogs put together a 10-game winning streak from Nov. 24-Jan. 10, their fourth-longest string of success ever and the longest in 75 years since the 1947-48 season.

Georgia also won 10 consecutive games at Stegeman Coliseum, matching the Dogs’ seventh-longest home winning streak ever and their fifth-longest since moving into the Coliseum in 1964. 

Georgia won its first three road outings at Florida State, Missouri and South Carolina. The modest three-game winning streak made the Bulldogs – who were a combined 1-20 on the road over the past two seasons – one of the last five (of 362) D-I teams with an undefeated road record.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim leads a trio of Bulldogs scoring at a double-digit pace for Georgia at 13.1 ppg, largely due to shooting team-high percentages of .398 from 3-point range and .876 at the free throw line. Noah Thomasson and RJ Melendez are contributing 12.0 ppg and 11.3 ppg, respectively. Silas Demary Jr. is literally one bucket shy of averaging double digits with 208 points (9.9 ppg).

Melendez has been UGA’s leading scorer in league play at 13.6 ppg, up 3.8 ppg from his non-conference average of 9.8 ppg. He is one of three Bulldogs who have increased their scoring by more than 3.0 points per game in SEC action along with Demary (+3.6 to 12.1 ppg) and Russel Tchewa (+3.2 to 9.3 ppg).     

Keeping An Eye On…

Jabri Abdur-Rahim is

• 5 3FGs from No. 15 Terrance Woodbury

• 16 3FGs from co-No. 13s Ty Wilson and Ray Harrison

• 17 3FGAs from No. 18 Rashad Wright

Career statistics wise…

Noah Thomasson is

• 22 points from 1,300

Scouting The Gamecocks

Soon-to-be-ranked South Carolina enters Saturday’s game as one of the nation’s hottest teams at 18-3 overall and 6-2 in the SEC. Since dropping a 74-69 decision to Georgia two and a half weeks, the Gamecocks are 4-0, including victories over No. 6 Kentucky and No. 5 Tennessee.

Meechie Johnson is South Carolina’s top point producer and at 17.1 ppg. He leads a quartet of Gamecocks scoring at a double-digit pace along with B.J. Mack at 14.0 ppg, Ta’Lon Cooper at 10.3 ppg and Miles Stute at 10.1 ppg.

Cooper paces South Carolina and among SEC leaders is ranked No. 3 in assists (4.19 apg) and No. 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.52).

Series History With S.C.

Despite a 34-22 advantage for Georgia in games played in Athens, South Carolina leads the overall series, 63-60. 

The Bulldogs and Gamecocks met two-and-a-half weeks ago in Columbia, with Georgia handing Carolina its lone home loss this season. Silas Demary Jr. scored 15 points to lead the Bulldogs in the 74-69 victory, Georgia’s first at Colonial Life Arena since 2016.

The Bulldogs rallied from a nine-point deficit with 14:05 remaining en route to victory. Georgia used a 19-3 surge to go up 58-51 with 6:37 left. 

The Gamecocks made it a one-possession game four times in the closing minutes, but the Bulldogs connected 11 of their last 12 chances at the line over the final 4:19.

In the Gamecocks’ most recent trip to Athens, Georgia defeated the Gamecocks, 81-78, in overtime on Jan. 28 last season to snap a 12-game losing skid to South Carolina.

Mardez McBride scored 17 points and lead Georgia at a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum. Kario Oquendo added 16 points, Frank Anselem notched a career-best 12 points and Terry Roberts chipped in 10.

Georgia rallied from a double-digit deficit with 6:31 remaining to force overtime and then improve to 11-1 at home on the season. A three-point play by Oquendo at the 6:23 mark started a 10-0 surge that knotted the score at 62-62 just 68 seconds later.

Oquendo scored all eight of Georgia’s points in OT, including going 6-of-8 from the line.

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Greg is closing in on 15 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.

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