WBB: Georgia Visits East Carolina Today

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WBB: Georgia Visits East Carolina Today

Javyn Nicholson
Javyn Nicholson

Georgia Lady Bulldogs (2-0) vs. East Carolina Pirates (1-1)

Thursday, Dec. 3 | 4 p.m. ET | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (7,100)| Greenville, N.C.

Watch: ESPN+ (Chris Edwards (play-by-play)/Debbie Taylor (analyst)

Listen: Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network (Jeff Dantzler)

*960 AM The REF, WXKT 103.7 FM in Athens or via the Georgia Bulldogs App

Opening Tip Storylines

• Georgia is back on the road this week with a trip to Greenville, N.C. to take on East Carolina. Tip time is set for 4 p.m. ET. 

• Thursday’s contest will air on ESPN+. Jeff Dantzler — the Voice of the Lady Bulldogs — will call the action for the Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network. Fans in Athens can listen to the game on 960 AM The REF and WXKT 103.7 FM. 

• Georgia enters Thursday’s game with 999 victories in program history. The Lady Bulldogs are looking to become just the second SEC team (Tennessee) and the 16th school in NCAA Division I women’s basketball to reach that mark. 

• For the first time since the 2002-03 campaign, Georgia is opening a season with three-straight road games. The 2002-03 Lady Bulldogs went 2-1 to begin the season and finished the year in the NCAA Sweet 16. 

• Georgia is looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2017-18 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs began that season 7-0 en route to a 26-7 record and second place finish in the SEC standings. 

• The Lady Bulldogs own a 3-2 record all time against East Carolina. This game will mark the first meeting between the two programs in Greenville. Georgia won last year’s contest 67-50 in Athens. 

• Georgia is coming off a 75-69 overtime victory against Georgia Tech. The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter  before holding off a late Tech rally. 

• Head coach Joni Taylor recorded her 100th victory as a head coach during Sunday’s win against the Yellow Jackets. She has averaged 20 wins per year going into her sixth season as head coach. 

• Senior guard Gabby Connally became the 40th Lady Bulldog to reach 1,000 career points. She reached the milestone with a made basket in the first half against Tech. 

• Senior center Jenna Staiti finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks against Georgia Tech. It marked the 10th time in her last 11 games she has scored in double figures. It was also her fourth double-double and sixth 20-point effort during this current 11-game span. 

Series Information

Overall: Georgia leads, 3-2

In Athens: Georgia leads, 1-0

In Greenville: Never Met

Neutral Sites: Tied 2-2

Current Streak: Georgia has won two-straight meetings

Last Meeting: Georgia won 67-50 in Athens (12/29/19)

Largest Margin of Victory: 19 points, Georgia won 80-61 in Athens (1/21/83)

Largest Defeat: 16 points, East Carolina defeated Georgia 92-76 (2/12/78)

Game Notes

Staiti Moves Into Top-10 for Blocks

With 125 blocks , Jenna Staiti has moved past Anne Marie Armstrong for 10th place on Georgia’s career blocked shots chart. Staiti tied a career high with seven swats against Georgia Tech this past Sunday and finished just three blocks shy of recording the fourth triple-double in Lady Bulldog history. Tawana McDonald (1998-2002) owns the Georgia record with 297 blocks in her career. 

Coombs In Double Figures

Redshirt-junior guard Mikayla Coombs is one of the many bright spots for Georgia this season. The UConn transfer, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, is coming off a career-best 10 point effort at Tech. It marks the first time in her career she has scored in double figures. She has hit 6-of-9 from the field through her first two games. 

Barker Makes Big Plays

With 2:19 left in the overtime period against Georgia Tech, freshman Sarah Ashlee Barker broke open a tie game with a made jump shot to put her team up 65-63. The Lady Bulldogs did not give up the lead the rest of the way en route to a 75-69 win. Barker played valuable minutes in her first two collegiate games, logging 19 minutes against Mercer and 20 at Georgia Tech.

Morrison Sets New Career High

Senior guard Que Morrison scored a career-high 20 points in the win against Georgia Tech . The effort bested her previous career high of 19 points versus Wofford in her first-ever game as a Lady Bulldog back in 2017.  

Best Shooting Effort Since 2009

The Lady Bulldogs finished the Mercer contest hitting 32-of-53 shots (60.4 percent), marking the team’s best single-game shooting percentage since March 5, 2009 against Kentucky (63.4 percent) — a span of 11 seasons. 

The Lady Bulldogs knocked in 8-of-10 (80 percent) field goals in the fourth quarter against the Bears. Eight of the 11 Lady Bulldogs who played hit 50 percent or better from the field. 

Post Players Shine

Georgia had a steady and deep rotation of post players against Mercer, using that depth to outscore the Bears 52-24 in the paint. 

Javyn Nicholson and Malury Bates combined to make 8-of-11 shots and totaled 28 points and 11 boards to lead Georgia’s post players. Jordan Isaacs also had a solid performance with eight points and four rebounds in her first career start. 

Nicholson leads in opener

Sophomore forward Javyn Nicholson had one of the best games of her career last Wednesday. She led Georgia in scoring with 15 points, with the bulk of of those coming in the fourth quarter. The former five-star prospect hit 3-of-4 shots and finished with nine points in the final 10 minutes of action. It marks the first time she has scored in double figures since last December. 

Georgia Returns Experienced Team

The last time Georgia had this much experience on its roster was back during the 2017-18 season when the team went 26-7 on its way to a second-place finish in the SEC standings. In 2018-19, Georgia had the youngest team in the SEC, while last year it had to replace its top two scorers. 

The Lady Bulldogs now return over 90 percent of their scoring and 88 percent of their rebounding, including four starters and 10 total letterwinners. 

A Closer Look at Staiti’s Last Nine Games

Jenna Staiti had one of the best late season stretches of any player in the SEC last season, averaging 19.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. She also posted three double-doubles and five 20-plus point efforts. Staiti’s game-by-game breakdown of the last nine games of 2019-20 is available on page 5 of the game notes. 

Staiti Steady at the Stripe

Jenna Staiti filled up the stat sheet with double-figure scoring efforts and double-doubles in her last nine games of the 2019-20 season. What might have gone unnoticed was Staiti’s performance at the free-throw line.  Staiti finished the year hitting 89 percent from the stripe — good for the second-best single season average in Georgia history. 

Chapman Best in the State

Two-sport star Chloe Chapman was named the Atlanta Sports Awards State of Georgia College Athlete of the Year this past summer. Chapman, who also plays soccer at UGA, is just the 11th Bulldog student-athlete to earn the honor. She received over 50,000 votes during the seven-day voting period back in July. 

Chapman  placed on the 2019 SEC All-Freshman Team in soccer before earning a spot in the lineup on the basketball floor. 

Two-Sport Star in Rare Company

Chapman is one of only six Lady Bulldogs to play two sports while at UGA. Below is a list of these elite athletes. 

All-Time Lady Bulldog Two-Sport Athletes

Tina Price — 1975-78 — Women’s basketball/Tennis

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

Beth Timmons – 2000 – Women’s basketball/Swimming

Maria Taylor – 2007 —  Women’s basketball/Volleyball

Stephanie Paul – 2019-20 – Women’s basketball/Track (discus)

Chloe Chapman – present – Women’s basketball/Soccer

Building Off Strong Finish

Georgia finished the 2019-20 season  on a high note, winning four of its final six regular season games and five of eight overall. Among the big wins during the final stretch was a 73-56 road victory at LSU — a game in which the Lady Bulldogs led the entire way. Georgia also knocked off Alabama and Florida twice during the stretch-run of the season. 

Georgia Seniors Earn Degrees

Each of Georgia’s four seniors — Gabby Connally, Maya Caldwell, Que Morrison and Jenna Staiti — will wear the SEC graduate patch this season after earning their degrees.  The four Lady Bulldogs are all pursuing master’s degrees, with Connally focusing on public administration, Cadwell in non-profit management and leadership, and Morrison and Staiti in sport pedagogy. 

Morrison Back After Season-Ending Injury

Senior Que Morrison was finally back to her freshman form before her injury last season against Texas A&M. She had successful surgery on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to repair a torn labrum in her right shoulder, bringing her junior campaign to an end.

This summer, Morrison spent time rehabbing her injury. She spent the last few months in quarantine working on her rehab back home in Riverdale, Ga. 

Georgia Led League in Honor Roll Selections

The Georgia Lady Bulldogs led all Southeastern Conference basketball teams (women or men) with nine players on the league’s Academic Honor Roll this past winter. 

Each winter, student-athletes from across the conference are recognized for having a 3.0 GPA or above for either the preceding academic year or a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

The following Lady Bulldogs reached the above criteria. Malury Bates (Human Development, Roanake, Va.), Maya Caldwell (Communication Studies, Charlotte, N.C.), Gabby Connally (Criminal Justice, San Antonio, Texas), Ari Henderson (Civil Engineering, Stone Mountain, Ga.), Caitlin Hose (Financial Planning, Hazel Green, Ala.), Kaila Hubbard (Psychology, Jonesboro, Ga.), Que Morrison (Communication Studies, Riverdale, Ga.), Stephanie Paul (Sport Management, Naples, Fla.) , Jenna Staiti (Human Development, Cumming, Ga.).

One of Peach State’s Best Joins 2021 Signing Class

Jillian Hollingshead, a 6-foot-5 forward from Powder Springs, Ga., added to an already impressive 2021 signing class for the Lady Bulldogs.  She was the fourth signee of Georgia’s class, joining fellow top-40 prospect Reigan Richardson (Huntersville, N.C.) as well as Alina Sendar (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Kimora ‘Kimmie’ Jenkins (Long Island, N.Y.).

Hollingshead was ranked as the No. 5 forward in the nation according to espnW and was also ranked No. 22 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Terrific 25 for the 2021 class. 

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