#17/18 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (19-2, 7 I don’t wantvs. LSU Tigers (13-6, 5-3 SEC)
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 // 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT // Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215)
Watch: SEC Network + (Lyn Rollins — play-by-play, Victor Howell— analyst)
Radio: 103.7 WKXT-FM and 960 AM; also available on GeorgiaDogs.com and the Georgia Bulldog App
(Jeff Dantzler — The Voice of the Lady Bulldogs)
» Two teams that have been on hot streaks as of late meet at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Thursday evening in Baton Rouge. 17th-ranked Georgia has won seven games in a row, while LSU has won three of its last four, including a victory against No. 12 Tennessee this past Sunday.
» Georgia is looking to win eight consecutive league contests for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
» This year’s Lady Bulldog squad is only the fifth team in school history to go undefeated in the month of January. Three of those previous four squads (1985-86, 1990-91 and 1995-96) won the SEC title that same year.
» Georgia enters the week ranked 17th in the Associated Press poll, 18th in the USA Today Coaches poll and 16th in the latest NCAA RPI. The Lady Bulldogs have three wins (Texas A&M, Missouri and Virginia) against teams with an RPI of 30 or better.
» Junior forward Caliya Robinson has recorded four double-doubles in the last six games and is averaging nearly a double-double of 15.4 points and 8.8 rebounds in her last 18 SEC contests dating back to last season. Robinson also leads the conference and is fifth nationally in blocked shots with 72 this year.
» Senior forward Mackenzie Engram is just three points away from 1,000 in her career. She would become the 38th Lady Bulldog all-time to reach the 1,000-point mark.
» As a team, Georgia leads the SEC in field-goal percentage defense, holding teams to just 34.3 percent shooting from the field. The Lady Bulldogs have held three SEC opponents (Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Missouri) to their season lows in both scoring and field-goal percentage.
» Georgia will be in search of just its second win in Baton Rouge since 2001. In Coach Joni Taylor’s first season, the Lady Bulldogs broke an eight-game losing skid at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with a 58-47 victory in 2016.
Overall: Georgia leads, 25-20
In Athens: Georgia leads, 14-6
In Baton Rouge: LSU leads, 10-7
Neutral Sites: Tied, 4-4
Current Streak: Georgia has won two in a row
Last Meeting: Georgia 70, LSU 65 (2/19/17)
Largest Margin of Victory: Georgia 88, LSU 53 (2/20/93)
Largest Defeat: LSU 84, Georgia 53 (1/11/87)
Last Time Out
Georgia’s veteran frontcourt of Mackenzie Engram and Caliya Robinson combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lady Bulldogs’ basketball team 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.
Georgia Does It With Defense
» Georgia has held three of its first eight SEC opponents to season lows in both points scored and shooting percentage (Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Missouri), and also held Texas A&M to a season-low in shooting. During conference play, the Lady Bulldogs rank first in three major defensive categories, including field-goal percentage defense (33.9 percent), 3-point field goal percentage defense (23.9 percent) and blocked shots (64 total, 8.0 per game).
Lady Bulldogs Have Mixture of Youth and Experience
» Even though the Lady Bulldogs are led by two veteran players in Mackenzie Engram and Caliya Robinson, three of Georgia’s top-5 scorers are actually newcomers. Morrison leads the way with 8.3 ppg, followed by Gabby Connally’s 8.0 ppg and Taja Cole’s 7.4 ppg. Cole has been a key player at the point guard spot this season and ranks fifth in the SEC in assists with 94 total and 4.5 per game.
Georgia Perfect On The Road
» The Lady Bulldogs’ 8-0 record away from home is the team’s best start since the 1994-95 NCAA Final Four Team began the year 11-0 outside of Athens.
What A Turnaround
» Just 18 games into the season, the Lady Bulldogs reached last year’s win total of 16. It took 30 games for Georgia to reach the 16-win total a season ago, with that victory coming at the SEC Tournament against Auburn.
» Georgia’s balanced scoring has helped the team to a fast start this season. Through 21 games, eight or more players have scored in 17 contests. In all, every available player on the Lady Bulldogs’ roster has scored a point, while eight players average 15 or more minutes per game.
Connally Sets Georgia Freshman Record
» Georgia freshman guard Gabby Connally put together one of the best single-game freshman performances in school history during her homecoming trip to Texas A&M.
The San Antonio, Texas native scored 37 points, marking the best game by a Georgia rookie against an SEC opponent in the program’s illustrious history. Not only was it the best against a league opponent, but it is tied for the third-best game by a Georgia freshman overall only behind Coco Miller’s 45 points against Charleston Southern in 1997 and Janet Harris’ 39-point effort versus Valdosta State in 1981. Connally scored 15 of her points in the overtime period, knocking in 11-of-12 free throws during that five-minute stretch.
Robinson Close To A Triple Double
» Junior forward Caliya Robinson finished just two blocks shy of a triple-double with 18 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks against No. 16 Texas A&M last Sunday. Robinson’s 19 rebounds ties for the sixth-best total in school history and is the second-best total among all SEC players this season. Her eight blocks are tied for the top single-game total of all conference players this season.
Strong Non-Conference Performance
» Georgia finished with a 12-1 non-conference record for the second time in three years. In all, the Lady Bulldogs own a 33-8 non-conference record under Coach Taylor, a near 80-percent win percentage. This season, Georgia won its non-conference contests by an average margin of 17 points per contest.
Freshmen Combine for Points Barrage
» During Georgia’s outing against Howard on Dec. 19, Lady Bulldog freshmen combined for 47 total points, led by a new career-high of 20 points from Maya Caldwell and 11 from Malury Bates. You have to go back to 2009 to find the last time a Georgia freshman class combined for that many points in a single game. That year it was Jasmine James (24), Anne-Marie Armstrong (14), Ebony Jones (6) and Jasmine Hassell (5) who combined to score 49 points in a December matchup against Southern Miss.
Morrison’s Debut Among Best For Georgia Freshmen
» Que Morrison’s 19-point effort in the season-opener against Wofford puts her name among a prestigious group of Lady Bulldog freshmen. Morrison’s total is the most for a Georgia rookie in a season-opening game since Tasha Humphrey scored 25 versus Furman at the beginning of the 2004-05 season.
Robinson Named to Naismith, Katrina McClain Award Watch Lists
» Lady Bulldog junior forward Caliya Robinson has received national attention for her efforts on the court. Among the SEC’s returning leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, Robinson was named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy National Player of the Year Watch List, joining 50 of the top players from around the country. Before the season started, she was tabbed a Katrina McClain Award Watch List candidate, placing Robinson’s name among the top 20 power forwards from across the country.
Georgia Boasts Top Women’s Hoops Program
» The Lady Bulldogs have boasted one of the top women’s basketball programs in the nation over the last three decades. During head coach Andy Landers’ 36-year tenure, Georgia ranked No. 2 nationally in both NCAA Tournament appearances (31) and weeks ranked by the Associated Press (522). Georgia is also one of three DI basketball programs to post a winning record every season since women’s athletics became under the auspices of the NCAA with the 1981-82 season. The Lady Bulldogs’ 32 NCAA Tournament appearances rank second only behind Tennessee for most in the nation.
Georgia’s Clark Already A College Graduate
» A three-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Haley Clark graduated in just three years and received her diploma from UGA during graduation ceremonies this past May. Clark received her bachelor’s degree in business and finance and is pursuing a master’s in financial planning. One of her career goals is to work in corporate finance and help other athletes with financial planning.
Clark, Engram Earn Leadership Awards
» Haley Clark and Mackenzie Engram enter their senior seasons as the leaders for the Lady Bulldogs. That leadership ability did not go unnoticed by the UGA Athletic Association this past spring, as both Clark and Engram received awards recognizing their efforts in leadership and sportsmanship. The announcement was made at the annual student-athlete awards banquet in April.
Clark received the UGA Athletics Sportsmanship-Ethics Award, which is given annually to one female and male student-athlete who are selected based upon their displays of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, friendship, caring and citizenship. Engram was chosen for the Clifford Lewis Leadership Award — an honor presented to one female student-athlete who demonstrates a commitment to a group of individuals above personal gain.