Redshirt junior center Jenna Staiti scored in double figures for the third time in four games to lead the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team to a 49-43 win Sunday afternoon at the Exactech Arena.
Staiti led all scorers with 19 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds. Georgia improves to 13-11 overall and 4-7 in the Southeastern Conference, while Florida falls to 12-11, 3-7 in the SEC.
“I told them at half that obviously we did not have our best offensive performance and were settling for too many bad shots.” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Credit our team for coming out in the third quarter and really locking-in offensively. Jenna just carried us most of the night and Que played her heart out. It’s not easy to win on the road, so I am just proud of our team today.”
Staiti scored six of Georgia’s eight points in the opening quarter as Florida took a 10-8 lead.
Georgia then went nearly eight minutes without a basket and allowed Florida to build an 18-11 advantage. Staiti and Que Morrison kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game, scoring 13 of Georgia’s 15 points in the first half.
Georgia shot just 20 percent in the first two quarters and trailed 23-15 at the break.
The Lady Bulldogs came out with a balanced effort in the final 20 minutes. Staiti, Maya Caldwell, Stephanie Paul, and Gabby Connally each scored in the first five minutes to put Georgia within one point — 25-24 — with 5:44 left in the third frame.
Caldwell’s shot with eight seconds remaining in the third pushed Georgia ahead of Florida, 32-31, going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs scored the first six points of the final period to force Florida to call a timeout down 38-31. The Gators did not score their first points of the period until a pair of free-throws by Ariel Johnson at the 5:09 mark.
Florida got within two at 42-40, but a basket by Staiti proved to be the answer and Georgia held on for the 49-43 win.
Georgia now has a week off before hosting Alabama next Sunday.