The Georgia Lady Bulldogs lost to the Missouri Tigers, 73-65, on Thursday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
Redshirt-junior Jenna Staiti notched a career-high 24 points to pace Georgia in scoring. This performance marks Staiti’s second career 20-plus point game and the first of the season. Staiti also led the Lady Bulldogs in rebounding, tallying a team-high six boards.
“We can’t let people in this league score where they’re comfortable or where they want to get shots from,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “Missouri shoots the three extremely well, they shoot a great percentage from the free-throw line, and we gave up too many three’s and we fouled them too much. Granted, at the end, we were fouling to stop the clock, but we let them score how they wanted to. We’ve got to make people score differently in this league. We did that in the third and fourth quarter better, but they got off to too good of a start to start the game.”
Despite Missouri taking an early lead, a layup from Staiti knotted the game 8-all with 4:40 to play in the opening frame. While the Lady Bulldogs led on three different occasions in the first period, two coming in the opening minutes, the two teams entered the second quarter tied, 16-16.
Staiti continued her impressive performance into the second period, accounting for 16 of Georgia’s 32 first-half points. The Tigers grabbed an early three-point advantage that they held onto until a Staiti basket tied the game yet again at 28 halfway through the frame.
Missouri took back the lead and extended to its largest advantage up to that point of five to send the Lady Bulldogs into the locker room trailing, 37-32.
With 3:41 remaining in the third quarter, a three-point basket from sophomore Caitlin Hose propelled Georgia to its first advantage, 43-41, since the opening period. Missouri tied the game once more in the third frame but the Lady Bulldogs entered the final 10 minutes with the one-point lead.
The Tigers quickly regained the advantage at the start of the final quarter and once extended the lead to nine. While Georgia was able to cut its deficit to five, it was unable to overcome the disadvantage, falling to Missouri, 73-65.
Up next, Georgia travels to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 1:00 p.m. The matchup will be televised on SEC Network.