Georgia Lady Bulldogs (7-4) vs. Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (4-3)
Sunday, Dec. 22 | 2 p.m. ET| Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
TV: SEC Network + (Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty)
Radio: Bulldog Sports Network (Jeff Dantzler) WXKT 103.7FM and 960 AM The REF
– Tacky Sweater Day
– Hairy Claus pictures on the concourse
» Georgia welcomes the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs to Stegeman Coliseum this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. It is Georgia’s Tacky Sweater game, with fans encouraged to wear their favorite Christmas sweaters.
» Sunday’s meeting is the first-ever contest between the two programs. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 4-3 this season with wins against Wofford, Appalachian State, Western Carolina and Delaware.
» On Thursday against No. 10 UCLA, Georgia played its eighth game against an opponent that reached postseason play last season. The Lady Bulldogs’ strength of schedule is ranked No. 19 nationally in the latest NCAA RPI release.
» In front of 4,700 elementary students, Georgia held the Bruins to their second-lowest point total and field goal percentage (34.2%) of the year in the 59-50 loss.
» Junior guard Que Morrison has drawn a start in each of the last two games. Morrison, who played 35 minutes against UCLA, started 32 of 33 games during her freshman season back in 2017-18.
» Gabby Connally has scored in double figures in 13 of her last 16 games and has started 41-straight contests for the Lady Bulldogs.
» Georgia is 6-0 this year when leading at halftime. Against UCLA on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Bruins 32-25 in the second half, but could not overcome a poor second quarter performance of just four points.
» Following Sunday’s game, the Lady Bulldogs will take a brief break for Christmas. Georgia returns to action on Dec. 29 against East Carolina.
» The Runnin’ Bulldogs are coached by second-year head coach Alex Simmons, who served as an assistant at both Ole Miss and Middle Tennessee. Twin sisters Savannah (14.4 ppg) and Carley (14.0 ppg) Plentovich lead the team in scoring. Gardner-Webb and Georgia each played Virginia Tech this season, with the Runnin’ Bulldogs losing 87-65 after being down by just four at the half. The Georgia Lady Bulldogs defeated the Hokies, 77-72.
» It was quite the debut for redshirt-sophomore guard Shaniya Jones this past Sunday against Furman. Jones came off the bench to score 11 quick points in the second quarter, knocking down four of her first five shots in the period. Jones finished with 20 points in just 14 minutes of action against the Paladins.
The High Point, N.C., native was a highly-regarded, top-100 player out of high school and transferred to Georgia from Virginia Tech in January, 2019.
Free-Throw Numbers Improve for Lady Bulldogs
» During the 2018-19 season, the Lady Bulldogs finished 12th in the SEC with a 67.1-percent effort from behind the line as a team. Currently, Georgia ranks second in the league, shooting 73.3 percent at the free-throw stripe. The Lady Bulldogs have four players who are hitting over 80 percent, led by Maya Caldwell’s 88.9-percent clip. Last season, Georgia had just two players shoot over 80 percent.
Bench Coming Up Big
» Georgia has played a deep rotation this season with 11 players who have played in nine or more games. The Lady Bulldogs’ bench has outscored its opponents in all but three contests, including a 20-2 advantage against Virginia Tech and a 39-22 edge versus Furman.
Advantage in the Paint
» Georgia has outscored its opponents in the paint in all but three games this season (vs. Kennesaw State, Baylor and), owning a 328-264 point advantage. In three-straight wins from Nov. 26-Nov. 30, the Lady Bulldogs owned a 116-60 edge, including a 44-26 advantage against Virginia Tech.
Connally Earns SEC Player of the Week
» Gabby Connally averaged 18.5 points per game, hit 12-of-22 shots (54.5%) from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line in wins against Butler and Virginia Tech. Those performances helped the San Antonio native earn SEC Player of the Week.
In seven wins this season, Connally is averaging 16.4 points per game.
A Difference Behind the Arc
» Georgia has hit big shots from 3-point range this season. In Georgia’s seven victories, the team has hit 37.4 percent (37 total 3-pointers) from behind the arc, compared to just 10 made 3-point baskets in its three losses.
Top-25 Success Under Taylor
» Georgia has won nine games against top-25 opponents during head coach Joni Taylor’s tenure. Georgia’s last win against a top-10 team in Athens came in Coach Taylor’s first season, when the Lady Bulldogs knocked off No. 10 Mississippi State, 47-43.
Peach State Players
» Georgia’s roster features seven players from the state of Georgia. During the initial signing period, the Lady Bulldogs inked Brunswick native Zoesha Smith, who will be the 10th Georgian that head coach Joni Taylor has signed during her five years at the helm of the program.
SEC’s Youngest team Continues to Grow
» With eight players who were either freshmen or sophomores, last year’s Lady Bulldog basketball team was the youngest in the Southeastern Conference. This season’s junior class — which was a top-10 signing class back in 2017 — returns four players who have combined to start 90 games coming into this season.
Pair of Two-Sport Stars
» Georgia’s roster this season features a pair of two-sport athletes — the Lady Bulldogs’ first since ESPN-star Maria Taylor played both basketball and volleyball. Incoming freshman Chloe Chapman plays soccer and basketball, while senior Stephanie Paul will compete on the track team, with her specialty being the discus.
All-Time Lady Bulldog Two-Sport Athletes
Tina Price — 1975-78 — Women’s basketball/Tennis
Donna Noonan – 1975-77 – Women’s basketball/Golf
Beth Timmons – 2000 – Women’s basketball/Swimming
Maria Taylor – 2007 — Women’s basketball/Volleyball
Chloe Chapman – present – Women’s basketball/Soccer
Stephanie Paul – present – Women’s basketball/Track (discus)
Chapman Named to Soccer’s SEC All-Freshman Team
» Chloe Chapman put together a remarkable year on the soccer field as she led Georgia with six goals on her way to placing on the SEC All-Freshman Team. The Mitchellville, Md., native was named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring two goals on the road at Missouri. She also notched Georgia’s lone goal in a draw at then-No. 6 Arkansas.
Georgia Approaching Unique Milestones
» Georgia has a long and storied history, dating back to the 36-year tenure of Hall of Fame head coach Andy Landers. As the Lady Bulldogs enter the 2019-20 campaign, the program is nearing its 1,000th win and is also approaching the 500-victory mark inside Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia boasts a 987-432 overall record since the 1973-74 season and can become one of just two SEC schools (joining Tennessee) and one of 14 programs nationwide to reach 1,000 victories. The Lady Bulldogs boast a 488-109 all-time record at Stegeman Coliseum.
Lady Bulldogs Sign Pair of Highly-Touted Prospects
» Sarah Ashlee Barker — a guard from Birmingham, Ala. — and Zoesha Smith — a forward from Brunswick, Ga. — have signed national letters of intent with the Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball program. Each are highly-rated recruits who will join the Lady Bulldogs as freshmen, beginning with the 2020-21 season. According to espnW, Barker is a four-star recruit and ranked in the top-25 nationally among guard prospects. The same recruiting service tabbed Smith as the No. 23 overall forward in the nation.