WBB: Georgia Opens Season Tonight vs. Kennesaw State

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WBB: Georgia Opens Season Tonight vs. Kennesaw State

Joni Taylor
Joni Taylor

Game Information

Georgia Lady Bulldogs (0-0) vs. Kennesaw State Owls (0-0)

Thursday, Nov. 7 | 7 p.m. | Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

TV: SEC Network + (Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty)

Radio: Bulldog Sports Network: 960 AM The Ref in Athens (Jeff Dantzler)

Thursday Promotions

– First 250 UGA Students receive free food and free t-shirts

– Halftime performance by the ‘Halftime Dogs’

Opening Tip

» Georgia begins its 2019-20 season this Thursday evening when the Lady Bulldogs host Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. ET inside Stegeman Coliseum. 

» The 2019-20 lid-lifter will be aired live on SEC Network +, with Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty on the call. Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Lady Bulldogs, Jeff Dantzler, who has called Georgia women’s basketball games since 1993. Dantzler’s radio broadcast is available in the Athens area on 960 AM The Ref and WXKT 103.7 FM. 

» Georgia is 37-9 in season-opening games overall and has won 13-straight openers dating back to the 2005-06 season (L, 84-72 to No. 6 Baylor). Georgia’s last loss at home in a season opener came at the beginning of the 1991-92 campaign — a 92-66 defeat to No. 7 Stanford.

» The Lady Bulldogs enter their 47th season with six of their top eight scorers back from last year to go along with another top-15 signing class. 

» Among Georgia’s returners is preseason All-SEC second-team selection Gabby Connally, who averaged 12.4 ppg last year. The San Antonio native has started 30-straight games. 

» This year’s team features just two seniors in Stephanie Paul and Ari Henderson. Among the new faces will be a trio of freshmen — Chloe Chapman, Javyn Nicholson and Jordan Isaacs. 

» The Lady Bulldogs learned last week that waivers for transfers Mikayla Coombs (UConn) and Shaniya Jones (Virginia Tech) were denied by the NCAA. Georgia will appeal Coombs’ denial, while Jones will be eligible to play at the conclusion of the upcoming fall term.

» Thursday’s contest is the first of six-straight home games for the Lady Bulldogs to begin the 2019-20 season. Overall, Georgia will play 10 of its 13 non-conference contests at home — the most non-conference games in Stegeman Coliseum for the Lady Bulldogs since the 2015-16 season.   

» Georgia comes into the 2019-20 season with 980 all-time wins. Currently, there are 13 Division I women’s basketball programs nationwide that have recorded 1,000 or more wins. 

Series History

Overall: Georgia leads, 3-0

In Athens:  Georgia leads, 3-0

In Kennesaw: Never Met

Neutral Sites: Never Met

Current Streak: Georgia has won three straight

Last Meeting: Georgia won, 82-40 (11/29/16)

Largest Margin of Victory: Georgia 91, KSU 32

Largest Defeat: NA

Scouting Kennesaw State

The Owls return nine letterwinners from last year’s squad, including 2018-19 First Team all-conference member Kamiyah Street and 2018-19 ASUN Freshman of the Year Amani Johnson. Street led all ASUN student-athletes with 16.9 points per game and also paced the conference in steals with 94, a figure that also ranked 17th in the country.

Kennesaw State is coached by 33-year coaching veteran Agnus Berenato, who has totaled 480 career victories. Berenato has coached at Rider University, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh in addition to Kennesaw State. 

Georgia Notebook

Lady Bulldogs Begin 47th Season

»  The University of Georgia begins its 47th year of Lady Bulldog basketball when the season tips off on Thursday. Georgia is still one of only three programs in NCAA history — joining Wisconsin-Green Bay and Tennessee — to boast a winning record every season since women’s basketball became an NCAA sport in 1981-82. Under Taylor, the Lady Bulldogs have recorded four consecutive winning seasons, with an 81-44 overall record. 

Gabby Connally Named Preseason All-SEC

»  Junior Gabby Connally, who will play point guard for the Lady Bulldogs this year, was voted to the coaches’ preseason All-SEC second team. Connally is Georgia’s leading returning scorer after she averaged 12.4 ppg in 2018-19. The San Antonio native has started 30-straight games and has played in all 63 contests during her two-year career. 

SEC’s Youngest Team Now More Experienced

»  With eight players who were either freshmen or sophomores, last year’s Lady Bulldog basketball team was the youngest in the Southeastern Conference. This season’s junior class — which was a top-10 signing class back in 2017 — returns four players who have combined to start 90 games in two years. 

Pair of Two-Sport Stars

»  Georgia’s roster this season features a pair of two-sport athletes — the Lady Bulldogs’ first since Maria Taylor played both basketball and volleyball. Incoming freshman Chloe Chapman plays soccer and basketball, while senior Stephanie Paul will compete on the track team, with her specialty being the discus. 

All-Time Lady Bulldog Two-Sport Athletes

Donna Noonan – 1975-77 – Women’s basketball/Golf

Beth Timmons – 2000 – Women’s basketball/Swimming

Maria Taylor – 2007 —  Women’s basketball/Volleyball

Chloe Chapman – present – Women’s basketball/Soccer

Stephanie Paul – present – Women’s basketball/Track (discus)

Chapman Named to Soccer’s SEC All-Freshman Team

»  Chloe Chapman put together a remarkable year on the soccer field as she led Georgia with six goals on her way to placing on the SEC All-Freshman Team. The Mitchellville, Maryland native was named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring two goals on the road at Missouri. She also notched Georgia’s lone goal in a draw at then-No. 6 Arkansas.

Maya Caldwell
Maya Caldwell

Andiamos Bulldogs! Georgia Embarks on Trip to Italy

»  Georgia spent 11 days on a foreign tour to Italy this past summer. The Lady Bulldogs were there from July 29-Aug. 7 and took in the sights and sounds of Rome, Florence, Venice and Trieste. Georgia played three games in Italy, winning all three contests. Junior Maya Caldwell led all scorers with 12 points per game.

Lady Bulldogs Set Strength and Conditioning Records

» A large focus this offseason has been in the weight room for the Lady Bulldogs. Strength and Conditioning Coach Josh Rucci spent the spring, summer and fall helping the Lady Bulldogs improve physically. The hard work has paid off as this year’s squad set new Georgia team records in the one-mile run, the barbell bench press, chin-ups, and single-arm kettlebell military press. 

Caldwell, Morrison Hope to Build on Strong Finish

»  The Lady Bulldogs won four of their last six games last year thanks in large part to increased production from then-sophomores Maya Caldwell and Que Morrison. 

Caldwell started Georgia’s final 10 matchups, scoring in double figures in five of those contests. Morrison, who overcame a knee injury before the season, finally hit her stride late in the year, playing 30 minutes or more in the final six regular-season games. 

Another Top Signing Class 

»  Head coach Joni Taylor and her staff signed another top-15 class. Five-star point guard Chloe Chapman and five-star forward Javyn Nicholson each rank among the nation’s top-40 prospects according to espnW, while fellow freshman forward Jordan Isaacs was a highly sought after recruit who was tabbed a four-star player by ProspectsNation.com. 

Georgia Adds UCONN Transfer Mikayla Coombs

» In addition to another impressive signing class, the Lady Bulldogs added UConn transfer Mikayla Coombs. The Buford, Ga., native brings an impressive resume to Athens. She was the 2017 State of Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year and was ranked as the No. 2 guard and No. 13 overall prospect in the nation according to espnW.  She was also a 2017 McDonald’s All-American and placed on the Naismith and WBCA All-America teams. Coombs has two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2020-21 season. 

Defensive Dogs

Georgia Approaching Unique Milestones

» Georgia has a long and storied history, dating back to the 36-year tenure of Hall of Fame head coach Andy Landers. As the Lady Bulldogs enter the 2019-20 campaign, the program is nearing its 1,000th win and is also approaching the 500-victory mark inside Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia boasts a 980-428 overall record since the 1973-74 season and can become one of just two SEC schools (joining Tennessee) and one of 14 programs nationwide to reach 1,000 victories.  The Lady Bulldogs boast a 484-106 all-time record at Stegeman Coliseum. 

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