WBB: Georgia vs. Auburn 2021 Preview

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WBB: Georgia vs. Auburn 2021 Preview

Maya Caldwell
Maya Caldwell

Georgia Lady Bulldogs (8-1, 0-1 SEC) vs. Auburn Tigers (5-4, 0-1 SEC)

Jan. 3, 2021 | 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT | Auburn Arena

TV: SEC Network (Richard Cross and Renee Montgomery)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network (Jeff Dantzler) 

Watch Link: Click Here

Storylines

• Georgia makes the short trip to Auburn to take on the Tigers at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT Sunday at Auburn Arena. The game will be carried nationally on the SEC Network. 

• The Lady Bulldogs raced out to their best start in seven seasons with a perfect 8-0 record in non-conference action. No. 12 Mississippi State narrowly defeated Georgia 69-62 Thursday night in the SEC opener. 

• Georgia has won 13 of its last 17 games dating back to last season. All four of the Lady Bulldogs’ losses have come against top-15 teams (South Carolina, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Mississippi State). 

• The Lady Bulldogs have won five of the last six meetings against Auburn. Georgia won last year’s contest, 61-50, in Athens. 

• Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was an assistant coach at Georgia from 1996-2002. During her time on Coach Andy Landers’ staff, she helped Georgia capture two SEC regular season titles, a SEC tournament championship in 2001 and a NCAA Final Four berth in 1999.

• Georgia senior center Jenna Staiti posted her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Mississippi State. She has scored in double figures in 17 of her last 18 games dating back to last season. 

• Staiti is also the SEC’s best shot-blocker. She paces the league and is third nationally with 26 total swats. 

• The Lady Bulldogs have scored 80 points or more four times in nine contests. Last year, Georgia reached the 80-point mark just twice in 31 games. 

• The Lady Bulldogs have used a deep rotation during the 2020-21 campaign. Eleven players have recorded a point in each of the last four games. All 13 players scored a basket in Georgia’s 107-44 win against Appalachian State on Dec. 22. 

• Sunday marks Georgia’s first road trip in exactly a month. The Lady Bulldogs began the year with three-straight road wins, marking the first time in program history the team has accomplished that feat. 

Series Information

Overall: Georgia leads, 31-19

In Athens: Georgia leads, 19-5

In Auburn: Auburn leads, 11-10

Neutral Sites: Auburn leads, 3-2

Current Streak: Georgia has won five of the last six meetings

Last Meeting: Georgia won, 61-50 (1/19/20) in Athens

Largest Margin of Victory: 34 points,Georgia W, 95-61 (1/18/86)

Largest Defeat: 30 points, Auburn W, 82-52 (1/13/08)

Georgia Game Notes

Georgia Leads Nation in Blocks

The Lady Bulldogs lead all NCAA teams with 60 total blocks this season.  Georgia is averaging 6.7 swats per game, which is the eighth-best average in the country and second in the SEC. 

Reaching 100

Georgia scored 107 points against Appalachian State on Dec. 22. That total marked the most points by a Georgia team since the 2000-01 campaign and was the first time the Lady Bulldogs have reached the 100-point mark since 2007. 

Offensive Improvement

The Lady Bulldogs are a much improved team on the offensive end compared to last season. Georgia is averaging 78.7 points per game in 2020 after scoring just 63.2 points per game last year.

Barker Named SEC Freshman of the Week

Sarah Ashlee Barker was named the league’s Freshman of the Week following performances against East Carolina and Oklahoma. Barker continues to play valuable minutes and has made several key plays for the Lady Bulldogs this season. 

With 2:19 left in the overtime period against Georgia Tech, Barker broke open a tie game with a made jump shot to put her team up 65-63. The Lady Bulldogs did not give up the lead the rest of the way en route to a 75-69 win. Barker then hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma, giving Georgia its largest lead of the game at 14. 

Barker recorded her first career double-double with 10 pts. and 12 rebs. against Georgia State. 

Georgia Reaches 1,000-Win Milestone

With its win against East Carolina on Dec. 3, Georgia became one of just two SEC programs (Tennessee) and one of 16 nationwide to reach the 1,000-win mark. The team commemorated the milestone with a special social media video narrated by Andy Landers and Joni Taylor. 

Taylor, Connally Reach Important Marks Against Tech

Georgia defeated Georgia Tech this year to improve the Lady Bulldogs’ record to 36-7 against the Yellow Jackets. The win also marked the 100th of Coach Taylor’s career. Senior guard Gabby Connally reached the 1,000-point mark with a first-half basket against Tech. 

Staiti’s Streak 

Jenna Staiti had one of the best late season stretches of any player in the SEC last season, averaging 19.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game over the last nine contests. That trend has continued into the 2020-21 campaign. She has now scored in double figures in 17 of her last 18 games and has six double-doubles during that time. A full breakdown of her last 18 games is on page 5 of the notes. 

Staiti Among Georgia’s All-time Best Shot blockers

With 144 blocks, Jenna Staiti stands in ninth place on Georgia’s all-time blocked shots chart.  Tawana McDonald owns the UGA career record with 297 in her career. 

Connally Reaches Career Top-10

Georgia senior Gabby Connally has moved into ninth place on UGA’s career 3-pt field goals made chart. Connally has totaled 149 during her time at Georgia. 

Georgia Seniors Earn Degrees

Each of Georgia’s four seniors — Gabby Connally, Maya Caldwell, Que Morrison and Jenna Staiti — will wear the SEC graduate patch this season after earning their degrees.  The four Lady Bulldogs are all pursuing master’s degrees, with Connally focusing on public administration, Cadwell in non-profit management and leadership, and Morrison and Staiti in sport pedagogy. 

Georgia Led League in Honor Roll Selections

The Georgia Lady Bulldogs led all Southeastern Conference basketball teams (women or men) with nine players on the league’s Academic Honor Roll this past winter. 

Each winter, student-athletes from across the conference are recognized for having a 3.0 GPA or above for either the preceding academic year or a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

One of Peach State’s Best Joins 2021 Signing Class

Jillian Hollingshead, a 6-foot-5 forward from Powder Springs, Ga., added to an already impressive 2021 signing class for the Lady Bulldogs.  She was the fourth signee of Georgia’s class, joining fellow top-40 prospect Reigan Richardson (Huntersville, N.C.) as well as Alina Sendar (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Kimora ‘Kimmie’ Jenkins (Long Island, N.Y.).

Hollingshead was ranked as the No. 5 forward in the nation according to espnW and was also ranked No. 22 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Terrific 25 for the 2021 class. 

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