The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team looks to continue its strong finish to the 2015-16 regular season as it hosts SEC foe Arkansas on Thursday at 7 p.m. ETinside Stegeman Coliseum.
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Georgia (20-7, 8-6 SEC) vs. Arkansas (11-16, 6-8 SEC)
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 | Stegeman Coliseum | 7 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network + // Kaleb Frady (PxP) and Kiesha Brown (Analyst)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network by IMG (Jeff Dantzler, PBP)
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com
– Georgia enters Thursday’s game having won six of its last seven contests this season, including a five-game win streak from Jan. 28-Feb. 14. The Lady Bulldogs have won eight of the last nine meetings against the Razorbacks.
– The Lady Bulldogs are currently in a five-way tie for fourth place in the SEC standings. The tie-breaker scenario is based on each team’s winning percentage against the other four. No tie-breaker can be set at this time because two of the squads — Missouri and Kentucky — have not yet played this season. Georgia currently owns a 4-2 record against the other four teams (Auburn, Florida, Missouri and Kentucky).
– Georgia currently boasts the fourth-best RPI in the SEC, as the Lady Bulldogs moved up to No. 20 this week, with a No. 16 strength of schedule. UGA is receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches polls.
– Senior guard Tiaria Griffin claimed SEC Player of the Week honors after back-to-back 20-plus point efforts against No. 2 South Carolina and then-No. 22 Florida last week. Griffin scored 24 against the Gamecocks, before recording a new career-high of 28 points against the Gators.
– UGA senior guard Shacobia Barbee underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured left distal fibula on Tuesday. Barbee, who missed the final 10 games last season due to a right distal fibula fracture, suffered the injury in the second half against the Gators.
– Thursday’s matchup features the league’s best defense in Georgia, which leads the SEC in scoring defense, FG percentage defense and 3-point FG percentage defense. Arkansas ranks No. 13 in the SEC in scoring offense, averaging 60.6 points per game.
A Georgia Win Would …
» Be Georgia’s 21st win of the year, which would be the most since the 2012-13 NCAA Elite Eight team won 28 games.
» Give the Lady Bulldogs their ninth win the last 10 meetings with Arkansas.
» Assure Georgia of a winning record in SEC play this season.
Overall: Georgia leads, 29-5
In Athens: Georgia leads, 14-2
In Fayetteville: Georgia leads, 12-3
Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 3-0
Current Streak: UGA, 8 of last 9
Last Meeting: Ark won 54-48 (2/9/15) Fayetteville
Arkansas has registered impressive wins this season, defeating three ranked opponents in Texas A&M, Tennessee and Missouri. The Razorbacks, who have lost six of their last eight games this season, are led by Jessica Jackson’s 16.6 points per game. Arkansas is the fifth youngest team in the nation in terms of returning scholarship players.
Five Top-25 Wins
» Georgia has won five games over ranked opponents during the regular season for the first time since 2006-07. Four of those victories have come against SEC foes, while one win came against then-No. 21 Seton Hall, who is receiving votes in the Coaches Poll. UGA also has a victory against BYU, who is receiving votes, has a No. 12 RPI and boasts a 23-4 overall record.
Georgia Finishing Strong
» The Lady Bulldogs enter the final week of regular season action having won six of their last seven games, with their only loss coming on the road at No. 2 South Carolina by 10 points — 61-51. During the current seven-game span, UGA has won three road games, including a 15-point victory at then-No. 20 Missouri.
Lady Bulldogs Winning On The Road
» Georgia has played exceptionally well on the road this season, picking up six road victories, including four against conference opponents. The Lady Bulldogs recorded a pair of firsts on the road this season — downing Vanderbilt in Nashville for the first time since 2006 and defeating LSU in Baton Rouge for the first time since 2001.
Tight Matchup At No. 2 South Carolina
» Georgia came very close to pulling off an upset and becoming the first SEC team to defeat No. 2 South Carolina this season. The Lady Bulldogs battled hard against the Gamecocks, getting within five points — 50-45 — with just 2:29 remaining in the game, before eventually falling by a score of 61-51 to the SEC regular season champions. The 61 points scored by South Carolina represented the Gamecocks’ second-lowest SEC scoring effort this season.
Lady Bulldogs Boast Best Defense
» Georgia currently leads the league in all three major defensive categories — scoring defense, field-goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense.
Georgia is holding teams to just 52.7 points per game this season. If that average holds, it would break a school record of 53.9 points per game allowed, which was set back in the 2012-13 season. The Lady Bulldogs have already broken the school record for both points allowed by an opponent (28 vs. Georgia Southern on Nov. 24) and points allowed by an SEC opponent (30 vs. Auburn on Jan. 28) in a single game.
The Lady Bulldogs have held 25 of 27 opponents at 40 percent or lower shooting this season and have held six teams — Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, Wright State, Mississippi State, Auburn and Missouri — to their season lows in scoring.
Robinson A Three-Time SEC Freshman Of The Week
» Georgia freshman forward Caliya Robinson has earned Freshman of the Week honors three times overall this season, as she is now third on the team in scoring (6.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.1 rpg) in conference play.
Robinson earned the most recent honor thanks to a strong performance on the road at LSU on Feb. 14. The 6-foot-3 forward scored a career-high 19 points and tallied a career-best 11 rebounds as she led Georgia in scoring and recorded her third double-double of the season.
Tiaria Griffin Lands SEC Player of the Week Honor
» Georgia senior guard Tiaria Griffin has been on fire as of late, averaging 19.0 ppg and hitting 48 percent from 3-point range over the last five games. Griffin most recently tallied a career high of 28 points against then-No. 22 Florida, hitting six 3-pointers in a row and scoring 22 points in the final 20 minutes to lead the Lady Dogs to their third-straight victory against the Gators. For her efforts, Griffin earned SEC Player of the Week honors, which marked the second time in her career she has garnered the weekly award.
Hempe Named To SEC Community Service Team
» Senior forward Merritt Hempe has been named to the SEC Community Service Team, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday.
The Fredericksburg, Va., native participates in numerous community service efforts, including Special Olympics Homeruns for Hometown Rivals baseball game, Toys for Tots, writing Holiday cards for deployed soldiers, helping provide safe routes to school by partnering with Barrow Elementary, providing toiletries collection for the homeless, visiting Stroud Elementary throughout the year to encourage and mentor children, is an Alzheimer’s Walk Volunteer and Ath-Half Volunteer, and volunteers as an AAU coach and operations staff member.
Butler Named To CoSIDA District 4 Academic All-America Team
» Georgia starting point guard and aspiring orthopedic surgeon Marjorie Butler has been named to the CoSIDA District 4 Academic All-America Team, making her eligible for the Academic All-America squad, which will be announced in March.
Butler, who has started each of Georgia’s 27 games this season and is fourth in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio, will graduate with her second degree from the University of Georgia this coming May. The Knoxville, Tennessee native, who already has a degree in exercise science, currently sports a 3.81 GPA in biology.
She has already been accepted to some of the top medical schools in the nation, including the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, University of Florida, UAB, Meharry (Tenn.) College and East Tennessee State University.