Despite a career-high 19 points from junior forward Stephanie Paul, the Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball team fell to Villanova, 62-56, Friday evening at Finneran Pavilion.
With the loss, Georgia falls to 6-4, while the Wildcats improve to 8-2 this season.
“With our team, everybody has to be who they are supposed to be every single night,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “It’s frustrating because we held Villanova below their season average from the field, but offensively it’s the same things that have been our problem all year — missed layups, free throws and jump shots. We will get back to Athens and get to work.”
Que Morrison was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time since recovering from her knee injury and it did not take long for her to heat up. She scored her second basket of the season to help the Lady Bulldogs build a 9-3 lead early in the first quarter.
The Wildcats managed just one made field goal through the first eight minutes of the game, but that quickly changed when they went on a 7-0 run. They finished the first period with a 14-12 advantage.
With the Lady Bulldogs trailing 26-17, Paul put the team on her back with three-straight baskets to keep Georgia in striking distance at 26-23. Villanova then scored the last five points of the second quarter to build a 31-23 lead at the half.
Georgia then got in foul trouble, committing six fouls to just one from Villanova through the first six minutes of the third period. That allowed the Wildcats to stretch the lead to 43-31 at the 4:09 mark of the third.
Jenna Staiti came off the bench and scored four quick points as Georgia cut the lead to 47-41. Villanova’s Jannah Tucker then came down with two seconds to go on the clock and nailed a 3-pointer to put her team up 50-41 going into the fourth quarter.