Four Georgia Lady Bulldogs scored in double-digits and the team had a season-high 10 made 3-pointers in a 74-54 win Thursday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
No. 24 Georgia moves to 15-4 overall and 7-4 in SEC play. Georgia has now won seven of the last eight meetings against the Tigers.
The Lady Bulldogs controlled the boards, pulling down 54 rebounds. Georgia struggled to take care of the basketball and committed a season-high 28 turnovers in the win.
Senior guard Maya Caldwell recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow senior Que Morrison added a team-high 14 points. Gabby Connally totaled 11 points.
“There are some creative things we can do. We can bring in a rack of balls to practice, and every time they turn it over, we take a ball off the rack, and when there’s no more balls, we run them,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “There are some things we can do. We’re going to have to do something to get their attention. I was scratching my head like ‘What are we doing?’. It made no sense how we were turning the ball over and not valuing the basketball, and it’s going to get us in trouble. It’s already gotten us in trouble this year in games that we’ve lost because of our turnovers. We cannot be the team that we want to be and continue to grow while turning the basketball at that high of a clip.”
Georgia’s first five points came from Jenna Staiti in the first quarter. Javyn Nicholson put in a layup in the remaining minute of the first quarter to extend the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 18-9. Georgia shot 43 percent from the field, while Auburn struggled to find a rhythm – only shooting 25 percent from the paint.
Georgia pushed the pace in the second quarter as Morrison knocked down a 3-pointer on the first possession. Morrison led Georgia in scoring with 10 points at the break, eight of those coming in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs committed 16 turnovers in the first half and the Tigers capitalized off those mistakes scoring 14 points. Georgia led 38-27 at the half.
Staiti only saw four minutes of action in the second period but came out of the locker room knocking down a jumper to set the tone for the third quarter. Auburn had a couple of driving baskets midway through the third period to go on an 8-2 run, cutting the deficit to 10 points. Georgia slammed the door on the comeback, knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers and a jumper in less than two minutes.
Nicholson found her way to the basket with two seconds left and scored to give the Lady Bulldogs a 20-point advantage going into the final quarter. Georgia outscored Auburn 19-10 in the third frame.
Connally hit her third 3-pointer of the game at the 5:01 mark of the fourth quarter to give Georgia a 66-43 lead – their largest of the game. With 2:16 left, the Tigers trimmed the margin to 66-50 on a pair of free throws, but the Lady Bulldogs did not let the Tigers get any closer.
Next up, Georgia travels to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Missouri Tigers at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday on the SEC Network.