Behind a 17-2 fourth-quarter run that was sparked by nine points from Tiaria Griffin, the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team (17-6, 5-5) pulled the upset over No. 21 Missouri (18-5, 6-4) by a 65-50 tally on Thursday night at Mizzou Arena.
Caliya Robinson registered a double-double in the contest with 12 points and ten rebounds, scoring timely buckets throughout the contest to lead the Lady Bulldogs to the victory. The visitors also got strong contributions from Griffin, who finished with 15 points, as well as Shacobia Barbee (14 points), and Marjorie Butler (16 points).
After trailing by four in the early running of the fourth quarter, the Lady Dogs held Mizzou without a field goal from the 7:46 mark in the fourth until only 1:01 remained in the game to wrestle the victory from their SEC foe. Georgia outscored Missouri by a 28-13 mark in the game’s final frame.
“What a great win for us tonight,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “Four people in double figures, Caliya Robinson with a double-double. I’m so proud of our kids, Marjorie Butler in particular because she’s in the gym all the time. Every day when I come in there, she’s in the gym. Sometimes she struggles to shoot the basketball but tonight they played off of her, and she was smart about taking her shots, and she had really big shots for us. That’s just what we talked about coming into this game. This is a great chance to win, get another win on the road against a really good Missouri team.”
The game started as a defensive slugfest, with the Tigers and Lady Dogs each shooting 33.3-percent from the field at the first media timeout as the visitors trailed 6-4 in the early running. Missouri appeared to find some space after the break as it claimed an 11-6 edge, but a 6-0 run to close the quarter gave Georgia a 12-11 lead after 10 minutes of play.
The teams traded 3s to start the second quarter, with Marjorie Butler cashing in from the corner to extend the lead to four before it was brought back to one, where it stayed at the quarter’s halfway point. Robinson snapped a four-minute scoring drought from both teams with a jumper from the elbow with just over three minutes remaining in the half, sparking a 9-2 run to claim an eight-point lead, but a deep ball in the waning seconds of the quarter cut Georgia’s lead to 26-21 at the break.
Points were at a premium for Georgia through most of the third quarter, as a 2-for-10 start from the field allowed Missouri to cut the deficit to 30-29. The run from the Tigers was once stopped by Robinson, whose layup pushed the Lady Bulldog lead to three, and Barbee hit from deep on the next possession to provide some breathing room at 35-29. Mizzou fought back, though, using a late run and a buzzer-beating trey from Sophie Cunningham to tie the game at 37 through three-quarters.
Missouri raced out to a four-point lead early in the fourth, but back-to-back treys from Griffin gave Georgia a two-point lead with six minutes to go. The Lady Bulldogs began to pull away after the media timeout, extending the lead to nine points with less than three minutes remaining, and they cruised to the victory.
The Lady Bulldogs will next return home to face Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.