The Georgia women’s basketball team’s veteran frontcourt of Mackenzie Engram and Caliya Robinson combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 66-57 victory against the Florida Gators Sunday afternoon at the Exactech Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed by as many as 10 points in the third period, before Engram and Robinson exploded and scored 17 of the team’s 31 fourth-quarter points. Robinson finished with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds, marking the seventh time in eight SEC games she has reached double figures. Engram finished with 13 — just four points away now from 1,000 in her career.
As a team, Georgia improves to 19-2 overall and 7-1 in league play. It’s the Lady Bulldogs best start since the 2009-10 team began the year 20-2. Georgia also improved to 8-0 on the road — the team’s best road record since the 1994-95 NCAA Final Four squad began the year 11-0 away from home.
“We go from scoring five points in the second quarter to 31 in the fourth, and I think that tells you a little about the flow of this game,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “This was a good lesson for us. We were not locked in like we have been during our shootaround, and it showed. Cam does a great job with his team and they made it tough on us today. If not for Simone Costa and Maya Caldwell down the stretch, I am not sure we are able to win this game.”
Georgia missed seven of its first 10 shots as the Gators built a 9-6 early lead thanks to seven points from Paulina Hersler. Engram halted a 9-0 run from Florida with seven-straight points of her own to bring the first quarter to a close with the Lady Bulldogs leading by a slim 15-14 advantage.
A sluggish first quarter spilled over into the second frame as the Lady Bulldogs managed just one basket through the first eight minutes and finished with just five points total. Robinson picked up her second foul early in the quarter, which limited her and allowed the Gators to build a 26-20 lead at the break.
Florida’s Hersler scored 13 first-half points and the Lady Bulldogs shot just 31 percent from the field.
Georgia continued its shooting woes and Florida extended the advantage to 10 in the third quarter. That was until Gabby Connally nailed a 3-pointer to cut the advantage to just three points, 34-31. Florida’s Funda Nakkasoglu took the Gators into the fourth quarter with a steal and a layup at the buzzer to put the score at 42-35.
Georgia’s Engram and Robinson took over to begin the fourth quarter, scoring eight-straight points to give their team a 43-42 lead with 7:33 remaining in the game. It marked the Lady Bulldogs’ first lead since the first 10 minutes of the game.
A back-and-forth pace continued the rest of the way as Georgia sealed the game with free-throws down the stretch.
CLICK HERE for the full box score for the Georgia-Florida women’s basketball game.
The Lady Bulldogs now head to Baton Rouge, La., to face the LSU Tigers at 8:00 p.m. ET Thursday evening.