The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated the East Carolina University Pirates, 67-50, in its final non-conference matchup Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.
Freshman Javyn Nicholson recorded her second-straight double-double, as she tallied 10 points and led Georgia in rebounds, grabbing 10.
Three other Lady Bulldogs ended with double figures in scoring. Fourteen points from redshirt-junior Jenna Staiti paced Georgia. Staiti shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the field as well as shooting a flawless 2-of-2 from the line. Juniors Maya Caldwell and Gabby Connally tacked on 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The win marks Georgia’s sixth victory in the last eight games, with the only two losses coming to top-10 teams Baylor and UCLA. Sunday’s game also marked the 90th career win of head coach Joni Taylor’s career. The Lady Bulldogs close out non-conference play with a 9-4 record.
“Overall, I thought we played really well,” Taylor said. “Some things to work on, always, but it was Javyn Nicholson’s second game where she had a double-double. I think she’s really coming along. She gives Jenna [Staiti] a break. She plays well offensively and she rebounds the ball well. She’s continuing to turn the corner and get better. Then, we were able to get our young players some minutes today as well. That is going to hopefully help us heading into conference play.”
While ECU scored on its first possession, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run over 2:37 to quickly grab a double-digit advantage, 12-2. Staiti was responsible for six of Georgia’s first eight points, scoring three-straight baskets.
The Pirates cut their deficit to three, 12-9, with 4:31 remaining as the result of a two-minute scoring drought for the Lady Bulldogs and a 7-0 ECU run. While the Pirates were able to get within two in the final minute of the opening period, Georgia went into the second frame with a five-point lead, 19-14.
The Lady Bulldogs regained a double-figure advantage of 10, 24-14, thanks to a 3-point shot from sophomore Caitlin Hose with 6:56 to play in the second quarter. While ECU cut into Georgia’s 10-point lead on multiple occasions, it was never able to get closer than six.
A last-second basket from Connally extended the Lady Bulldogs’ lead back to double-digits to send them into the locker room sporting the 39-28 advantage.
Out of the locker room, Georgia grabbed its largest lead thus far, 13, off a layup in the paint from Caldwell with 6:35 remaining in the third quarter. An 11-0 Lady Bulldog run over 3:38 gave Georgia its first 20-point lead of the contest. The Lady Bulldogs entered the final 10 minutes of play leading 53-35.
Georgia led by 20 on two different occasions throughout the fourth period. A shot from behind the arc from redshirt-sophomore Shaniya Jones sealed the 67-50 victory for the Lady Bulldogs.
Up next, the Lady Bulldogs begin conference play as they travel to Oxford to face the Ole Miss Rebels on Thurs., Jan. 2, at 7:45 p.m. The matchup will be televised on SEC Network +.