The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team nearly erased a 17-point deficit in the second half, but could not get past Texas A&M in a 64-63 loss Thursday evening at Reed Arena.
Georgia was down 35-18 before outscoring the Aggies 43-29 in the final two quarters. After the Lady Bulldogs closed the gap to just one point, Texas A&M hit free-throws down the stretch to hold on to the win.
The Lady Bulldogs were going for their second-straight road win against a top-25 team — a feat that has not been done by a Georgia squad since 2011. Georgia falls to 12-9 overall and 3-5 in the SEC, while the Aggies improve to 18-3, 6-2 in the league.
Junior guard Gabby Connally led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points in the loss.
“I was extremely proud of the fight in the second half, but we cannot put ourselves in that position down 17 to a good team,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “The second quarter just really killed us. We had some inexperience on the floor and Texas A&M took advantage of it. Credit our team for fighting and playing really well in the third and fourth quarters.”
Georgia began the game on an 8-0 run and held the Aggies scoreless for close to six minutes.
The Aggies followed with an 8-0 run, which was quieted by Connally’s basket. Six different Lady Bulldogs scored in the first quarter as the two teams went to the second locked in a 12-12 tie.
Texas A&M outscored Georgia 23-8 in the second period, holding Georgia scoreless for seven minutes. The Lady Bulldogs shot just 29 percent from the field, compared to a 60-percent effort from the home team as the Aggies led 35-20 at the break.
Connally and Maya Caldwell heated up in the third quarter with Georgia scoring 19 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Georgia missed its last five field goals in the period, but still trailed by just 11 points, 51-40, going into the fourth.
Georgia closed the gap to just three points with 1:32 remaining thanks to a bucket from Connally. Jenna Staiti then nailed a 19-foot jumper to get the Lady Bulldogs within one point, 61-60, with 11 seconds remaining. Texas A&M hit its free throws the rest of the way and held on for the 64-63 win.
Next up, Georgia travels to No. 9 Mississippi State for a 7 p.m. ET tip Monday.