The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team built an early lead and never trailed in a 69-57 win against the Florida Gators on Thursday at the Exactech Arena.
Georgia has now won five of its last six contests, including back-to-back road games, to improve to 18-10 overall and 9-6 in the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs return home to host No. 11 Kentucky on Senior Day this Sunday at 1 p.m.
Five Georgia players reached double figures in scoring, led by Taja Cole’s 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard/forward Maya Caldwell finished with 13 points. Senior forward Caliya Robinson was limited due to foul trouble, but finished with 11 points and seven boards.
“Caliya got into early foul trouble, but we knew they would come after her,” associate head coach Karen Lange said. “We were able to play really well and we had some players step up in a big way to lead us. Maya made shots, Stephanie made a few, and everybody contributed to this team victory tonight. It’s always good to leave here with a win.”
Gabby Connally scored four early points to help Georgia build an early 8-4 advantage. The Lady Bulldogs then exploded out on a 16-0 run and held the Gators scoreless for close to eight minutes on their way to a 20-8 lead at the end of one quarter.
With Robinson sitting for most of the second period, Florida got back within nine at 32-23. Caldwell scored seven points during that time and Cole finished with 10 in the first half to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 37-25 halftime advantage.
The Lady Bulldogs used a balanced scoring effort in the third quarter with five different players scoring a basket in the first five minutes. Georgia held Florida to just five made field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half as the Lady Bulldogs led 51-39 going into the fourth.
Florida climbed back within seven, but a Cole 3-pointer with 57 seconds remaining extended the lead and put the finishing touches on Georgia’s win.