Two Lady Bulldogs, freshmen guards Que Morrison and Gabby Connally, stepped to the free-throw line and knocked in four-straight shots to cap off Georgia’s 64-61 victory against Virginia Thursday evening at John Paul Jones Arena.
Georgia, now 2-0 this season, led by 14 with 9:48 remaining in the game, but Virginia (1-2) staged a furious comeback, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 27-18 in the fourth quarter. That is when the Georgia freshmen stepped to the line and sealed the game.
Three Lady Bulldogs finished in double figures with Caliya Robinson’s 15 leading the way. Mackenzie Engram added 13 and Connally tossed in 10 points. Redshirt-sophomore point guard Taja Cole finished with a career-high nine assists and now has 15 assists and just six turnovers in the last two games.
“We came down in the fourth quarter and took some shots too quickly,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “That allowed them to get back in the game and they did a nice job of hitting some shots down the stretch. Our team fought back on the defensive end, we gave great effort and we got out of here with a really big win on the road.”
Both teams came out of the gate shooting the ball well from the floor. Each squad shot at a 50-percent clip through the first seven and a half minutes as Virginia took a 15-13 advantage at the first media timeout of the game. Engram scored seven of Georgia’s first 13 points and the Lady Bulldogs committed just two turnovers during that time.
Down two, it did not take long for the Lady Bulldogs to retake the lead. Connally came off the bench and scored a 3-pointer to give her team a 16-15 advantage. Virginia then scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 19-16 lead into the second frame.
Morrison then came alive in the second quarter, doing most of her work on the defensive end with three steals. Her defensive pressure helped the Lady Bulldogs go on an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 29-25. Virginia’s duo of Dominique Toussaint and Jocelyn Willoughby combined for 18 first-half points as the Cavaliers inched closer with Georgia leading 29-28 at halftime.
It was Robinson’s turn in the second half. Robinson scored five points, including a long 3-pointer, in the first five minutes of the third quarter to extend the Georgia advantage to 36-30.
The Lady Bulldogs were not done. Georgia clamped down on the defensive end and outscored the Cavaliers 17-6 in the third quarter to take a 46-34 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Virginia clawed back in the fourth quarter and got within four — 56-52 — with just under five minutes remaining. Georgia withstood the Cavaliers’ fury and left Charlottesville with the 64-61 victory.
CLICK HERE for the full box score for the Georgia women’s basketball 64-61 over Virginia.
The Lady Bulldogs now hit the road to play at Mercer on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.