A career-high 18 points from sophomore guard Stephanie Paul led the Georgia women’s basketball team to an 81-52 victory against Vanderbilt Thursday evening at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN.
Georgia clamped down defensively and forced the Commodores into a season-high 28 turnovers, while the 52 points scored were also a season-low for the home team.
The victory improves Georgia’s record to 13-2 overall, 1-1 in the SEC and gives the Lady Bulldogs just their second win in Nashville in the last 10 years and their largest margin victory at Memorial Coliseum in school history. Vanderbilt falls to 4-12 this season and 0-2 in league play.
“It is so important to win on the road in this league,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Stephanie (White) has a young team that is going to be really good, so I am proud of our team the way we came in here, refocused and evened up our SEC record.”
The two squads combined for eight turnovers in the first five minutes of the game as the contest got off to a sluggish start. Mackenzie Engram led Georgia in the early going with two free throws, followed by a basket on the next possession, that gave the Lady Bulldogs an early 10-8 lead in the first quarter.
Georgia heated up from their as Gabby Connally nailed two 3-pointers to spearhead a 10-0 run that put her team up 22-9 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs went cold in the second frame, going scoreless for close to six minutes. Finally, Paul and Engram hit back-to-back shots to keep Georgia’s lead at 10 — 26-16 — with 4:22 left until halftime.
A costly technical foul by Engram helped the Commodores inch within eight points, but Paul continued her torrid pace in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs’ sophomore finished with 12 points off 6-of-7 shooting to put Georgia up 41-25 at the break.
Two baskets from Robinson and a 3-pointer from Paul helped Georgia maintain its double-digit lead as Vanderbilt hit just 2-of-9 to begin the third quarter. An old-fashioned three-point play led the Lady Bulldogs into the fourth as Morrison converted to put Georgia up 60-43.
The Lady Bulldogs further extended their lead thanks to a 6-0 run to begin the final 10 minutes and held the Commodores to just nine fourth-quarter points en route to the win.
CLICK HERE for the full box score from the Georgia-Vanderbilt women’s basketball game
Georgia now treks to Kentucky to face the Wildcats at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.