The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team posted a season-high point total in the 84-56 victory over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.
Freshman Javyn Nicholson paced the Lady Bulldogs in both scoring and rebounding, recording career-highs in both categories with 22 points and 10 boards. Nicholson’s performance also marks the first double-double and 20-plus scoring game of her young career at Georgia. Sophomore Caitlin Hose bested her career high in points, tallying 14, and was the only other Lady Bulldog in double figures. Eleven different players contributed to the season-high 84-point outing.
Nicholson’s double-double is the first from a freshman since junior Que Morrison completed the feat against Ole Miss in Feb. of 2018. It is also the first time a freshman has scored more than 20 points in a game since junior Gabby Connally did so against Texas A&M in Jan. of 2018.
“This game was really, really important for us,” Georgia Head Coach Joni Taylor said. “They [our bench] need minutes. They need experience, because our freshmen are talented. Our young players are talented. Steph [Stephanie Paul] goes out a minute or two into the game because of her knee. We didn’t practice her at all after UCLA. We were going to try her today. We ran her up and down twice and I called a timeout to get her out and protect her. It was really, really critical that Jordan [Isaacs], Javyn [Nicholson] and even Malury [Bates] came in and played the minutes that they played. They’re capable, as you can see. It’s just about them continuing to work hard every possession and then getting some experience.”
The Lady Bulldogs grabbed a quick three-point lead off a shot behind the arc from Morrison within seconds of the opening period. Georgia continued to extend its lead, obtaining a double-digit advantage, 15-4, within the first five minutes of play thanks to a fast-break layup from junior Maya Caldwell. Georgia held onto this double-digit advantage for the remainder of the game. Six different Lady Bulldogs contributed to the 26-point first quarter.
Defensively, Georgia forced six turnovers in almost five minutes of play, resulting in a four-minute scoring drought for the Runnin’ Bulldogs to limit them to 12 points through 10 minutes of play. Georgia led 26-12 entering the second frame.
Halfway through the second period, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run and shot a perfect four-of-four from the field over two minutes to tie their largest advantage up to that point of 17. Back-to-back 3-point shots from Hose propelled Georgia to a 19-point lead with 1:34 remaining. The Lady Bulldogs went into the locker room sporting a 46-27 lead.
Free-throws from Morrison powered Georgia to its first 20-point lead of the contest within seconds out of the locker room. Morrison scored the first five points of the second half for Georgia within 1:09 of play. With 5:03 remaining, the Lady Bulldogs tied their largest lead, 25, off an and-one from Nicholson.
While Gardner-Webb was able to cut the lead to 18 on two different occasions, Georgia entered the final 10 minutes with its largest lead of 26 (72-46).
After leading by as many as 29, the Lady Bulldogs successfully held onto a 20-point advantage for the entire fourth period. A fast-break layup from freshman Chloe Chapman sealed the 84-56 victory for the Lady Bulldogs.