#17/18 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (26-6, 12-4 SEC) vs. #20/18 Duke Blue Devils (23-8, 11-5 ACC)
7 p.m. ET // NCAA Second Round // Albany Regional // Athens, Ga. // Stegeman Coliseum
TV: ESPN2 (Melissa Lee, play-by-play; Amanda Butler, analyst)
Radio: Jeff Dantzler — WXKT-FM 103.7 and 960 AM The Ref
Georgiadogs.com and TuneIn App
Georgia NCAA Tournament Notes
» Georgia won its first NCAA tournament game since 2013 with a 68-63 win against No. 13 seed Mercer on Saturday. The victory was also the first NCAA tourney victory for Georgia under head coach Joni Taylor.
» The Lady Bulldogs’ veteran frontcourt of Caliya Robinson and Mackenzie Engram combined for 44 points and 26 rebounds against Mercer. Freshman Que Morrison added 10 points and nine rebounds in her first NCAA tournament game.
» Robinson’s 23 points on Saturday were the most for a Georgia player in a non-overtime NCAA tournament game since Tasha Humphrey scored 27 against Connecticut in 2006. Her 16 rebounds are the third-most by a Georgia player in a NCAA tournament game.
» Georgia notched its 26th victory of the season on Saturday. This marks the team’s most wins in a single season since the 2006-07 campaign.
» The Lady Bulldogs are in search of their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2013 and 21st appearance overall.
» Georgia and Duke have met three times prior in the NCAA tournament, with the Blue Devils taking wins in all three contests. The last meeting came in 2005, when Duke beat Georgia, 63-57, in the Sweet 16.
» Georgia’s defense held Mercer to just 31.8 percent shooting from the floor, marking the 25th time in 32 games this season the Lady Bulldogs have held an opponent to 40-percent or lower from the floor. It is also the eighth time in the last nine games Georgia has accomplished that feat.
» Duke represents the fourth-straight ranked opponent Georgia has faced this season. The Lady Bulldogs are 2-1 against the previous three.
» The Lady Bulldogs are hosting the first and second rounds for the 18th time in Athens and for the first time since 2003. Georgia’s No. 4 seed marks its highest seeding since 2013, when the team advanced all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight.
» Georgia has now been to 33 of 37 NCAA tournaments, a total that is second nationally to Tennessee for most NCAA tournament appearances. This is the second time in three years the team has made the tournament under head coach Joni Taylor.
» The Lady Bulldogs finished the regular season in a tie for second place with South Carolina in the SEC standings. It marks Georgia’s best finish in the league since the 2006-07 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament before falling to the Gamecocks.
» Georgia earned a second-place finish after being picked eighth in the conference’s preseason poll. The turnaround from 16-15 a year ago to 24-5 during the 2017-18 season is the second largest in program history. Georgia went 16-12 in Hall of Fame Coach Andy Landers’ first year in 1979-80 after the team went just 6-19 the season before.
» All six of Georgia’s losses have come against teams ranked in the top-25, with four of those coming to top-10 teams.
Georgia Sunday Press Conference Quotes
Head coach Joni Taylor
“Obviously great win for us yesterday against Mercer. We’ve had a chance to watch film and prepare for a Duke team that’s really good. We’re just excited to get out here and practice in a few minutes and get ready to go. We know this is a tremendous challenge for us. Duke has a great program, has a lot of tradition and we’re excited about the opportunity to play at home again and test ourselves against a really good Duke team.”
On Duke forward Leaonna Odom and Duke’s size…
“Leaonna Odom is a really good player. She provides great size, great athletic ability, and she’s an X-factor in my opinion for that team. Rebecca Greenwell is who she is. Lexi Brown is who she is. With Odom coming along with them, they are really tough. I think what you saw yesterday was her showing up and doing what she’s capable of doing. We have to do our best, so that doesn’t happen tomorrow. As for their size, they are bigger than us at every position. That’s no secret. If you look at the roster, you figure that out pretty quickly. I think we’ve been in that position this year already. It’s not anything that we really pay attention to.”
On managing the team with a short turnaround…
“That’s the beauty of this team. Our seniors and our experienced players understand that. They’ve been in that situation before, so they start by managing it themselves, and managing the other players. So when we come in and talk about it, it’s just secondary at that point. I think they understand how important getting rest is, getting in the bed, getting in the hot tub or cold tub, and hydrating properly after games. All of that stuff is what we talk about all the time, so it’s just second nature at this point. Also, you’re in the tournament, and it just comes along with it. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”
#0 | Taja Cole | R-Soph. | G
On working together with Gabby Connelly…
“I’m always in Gabby’s ear whether I’m in the game, on the bench, or during a timeout. I’m just talking to her or just seeing her point of view and telling her what I think. [I’m] always encouraging her. We play on the same team but I think we have our own team, our little point guard team. We just try to stay on the same page, I pick her brain and she picks mine.”
On Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell, and Duke…
“We got a chance to watch the game before our game and I think Duke has a really good point guard, Lexie Brown, she knows how to get her teammates the ball. She can drive [and] she can shoot. Then you have [Rebecca] Greenwell who spreads the defense out with her deep range. We’re excited to play against them and right now we’re focusing on the plan that our coaches set up for us and we’re looking forward to playing tomorrow.”
#2 | Gabby Connally | Fr. | G
On working with Taja Cole…
“She’s constantly in my ear especially when I come in off the bench especially when I have a mistake or two. She just constantly picks me up and uses encouraging words. If I see something on the bench that she may not see on the floor, I try to tell her what I see so we can help each other and that in turn helps the team.”
On having Taja Cole as a role model…
“I think its really important and I’m glad I have Taja [Cole] with me. Just being able to watch her on the bench at first so I could get a feel for the game, see what defense the team we’re playing is [using on] us. Seeing what sets what first on the offensive end and making sure I keep the same energy, [and] make sure we’re moving in transition.”