Behind standout performances from Shacobia Barbee, Caliya Robinson and Tiaria Griffin, the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team (16-6, 4-5) emerged from Vanderbilt’s (15-6, 4-4) Memorial Gymnasium victorious for the first time in a decade with a 64-58 win on Sunday afternoon.
Barbee led all scorers in the contest with 15 points, finishing only two rebounds shy of posting a double-double. Robinson posted 14 points, going 7-for-9 from the field while playing a large role off the bench for the Lady Bulldogs. Griffin finished the contest with 13 points, nine of which came via the deep ball on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter to jumpstart the Georgia offense.
“I challenged them,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “I struggle sometimes with what to tell this team because they take certain things as pressure. But I started out by saying ‘Hey, you seniors, you’ve never lost to Georgia Tech. You seniors, you held up the non-conference winning streak at home. You’ve got another challenge here today. We haven’t won here since 2006. You’re coming off of breaking an SEC record against Auburn for fewest points (allowed) with 30. Let’s go break another thing that needs to be broken today with going to Vanderbilt and getting our first win in 10 years.’ That’s special, and I think they took that to heart.”
The Lady Bulldogs started slow on the offensive end, trailing 7-0 at the media timeout, but Griffin caught fire after the break and hit from distance on three consecutive possessions to put Georgia on top 9-7. Barbee followed suit with an old-fashioned three-point play of her own, and Merritt Hempe and Pachis Roberts each added two points as the Lady Dogs closed the opening quarter on a 16-0 run and a 16-7 lead.
The teams exchanged blows to start the second quarter, and Vanderbilt used a 12-3 run to draw even once again with Georgia heading to the final two minutes of action in the first half. The tie did not last long, as Robinson sandwiched two buckets around one Vanderbilt score, leading the Lady Bulldogs to a 27-25 lead at the intermission.
The Commodores quickly tied the score to start the second half, but Georgia responded with buckets from Marjorie Butler and Robinson to reclaim a four-point lead. Vanderbilt then went on a 10-2 run to seize the lead, but four quick points from the Lady Dogs brought the score to 37-37. A quick 4-0 spurt in the final minute of the third gave Georgia a 45-41 lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
Georgia and Vanderbilt traded scores in the early running of the final quarter, with the Lady Dogs leading by either two or four points until Halle Washington drained a pair of free throws to push the lead to six at 5:31. The lead grew to eight points at 3:06, and the Lady Dogs held on for the win.
The Lady Bulldogs will return to action on Thursday, playing at Missouri at 8:00 PM
For more information on the Georgia Women’s Basketball team,
follow the team on:
Facebook: UGA Women’s Basketball