The Lady Dawgs hosted the Flordia Gators on Sunday and fell short yet again in the last few minutes of the game 76-68.
The leading scorer for the match was Pachis Roberts who put up 26 points. She also led the team in rebounds with nine. A majority of her points came from the free-throw line, as she went 15-16. Roberts was a key component to the Lady Dawgs staying in the ball game.
Other notable scorers for the Lady Dawgs are Mackenzie Engram who scored 18 points and also went 4-5 from the free throw line. She was key for the Dawgs because of her aggressiveness. She also helped Roberts make plays happen. Without Engram and Roberts, the game could have turned ugly fast. Stephanie Paul and Simone Costa also contributed as they both scored seven points.
The Gators came out ready to play and were aggressive from tipoff to the final buzzer. They forced Georgia out of their comfort zone and forced key turnovers. The two teams exchanged leads six different times keeping the game close and exciting.
During the first half, the Lady Dawgs started out strong and played tough. Throughout the half, though, the team seemed to lose its momentum and went into halftime down by two. After halftime, the Gators scored seven unanswered points and took a 42-33 lead.
Freshman, Stephanie Paul stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer to end the run. The Gators largest lead was 17, and that was when the Lady Dawgs went on an impressive 14-point run to come within three points. Roberts lead the way scoring 16 of the team’s 25 points in the fourth quarter. The late surge, however, just wasn’t enough. The Lady Dawgs played aggressively and shot 38 percent from the field versus the Gator’s 39 percent. The loss was another close one for the Lady Dawgs and the first SEC loss at home this season.
“We are a team that sometimes shoots them well, and sometimes we don’t,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “What I think impacted the game the most for us was our defense intensity coming out of the locker room at halftime. That’s when Florida had their big run. We just didn’t look like we were very interested in playing defense the way we did in the first and second quarter and the fourth. When you play against any team in the league, especially a team like Florida that’s going to be aggressive on both ends of the floor, you can’t go down and just let them be comfortable when they run things offensively.”
The Lady Dawgs return to action on Thursday to host No. 5 South Carolina. Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and the game will air on the SEC Network.