UPDATE: Due to a combination of a positive test, contact tracing, and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the South Carolina women’s basketball program, the Georgia at South Carolina game scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. has been postponed, consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 management requirements.
Georgia Lady Bulldogs (9-1, 1-1 SEC) vs. No. 4/5 South Carolina (7-1, 2-0 SEC)
Thursday, Jan. 7 | 7 p.m. ET | Colonial Life Arena | Columbia, S.C.
Watch: SEC Network + (Burch Antley (play-by-play)/Brian Hand (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
• The Lady Bulldogs, who are 9-1 this season, are ranked No. 16 in the first NET rankings and are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
• Georgia began the year 8-0 in non-conference action, marking its best start in seven seasons.
• Georgia has won 14 of its last 18 games dating back to last year, with the only losses coming to top-15 teams South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Kentucky.
• The Lady Bulldogs are 4-0 in road games during the 2020-21 campaign. Georgia started the year with three-straight road victories for the first time in school history.
• Head coach Joni Taylor’s team ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in scoring defense, holding teams to just 55.6 points per game. Georgia has held six of 10 opponents at or below 30 percent shooting from the field.
• Georgia’s mantra has been ‘Defense Travels’ over the last few years. The Lady Bulldogs could make that case on the offensive end this season. The team has scored 80 points or more points four times in 10 games, compared to just twice in 31 contests last season.
• The Lady Bulldogs are averaging 78.4 points per game, up 13 points per contest compared to the first 10 games in the 2019-20 season.
• Two years after having the youngest team in the SEC, Georgia is a veteran squad with four seniors who have all graduated and are pursuing master’s degrees.
• Senior Jenna Staiti leads Georgia in scoring and rebounding with 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Staiti paces the SEC and ranks third nationally with 30 total blocks (3.0 per contest).
• Balance and depth have been key for the Lady Bulldogs through the first part of the season. Eleven or more players have scored a basket in four of the last five games, with all 13 players routinely seeing action.
• Georgia leads the all-time series against South Carolina, 33-19, but is looking to snap a 12-game losing skid in the series.
• Georgia is looking for its first win over a top-5 team since defeating No. 4 Stanford in the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16.
Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina is ranked No. 4 in the Coaches Poll and No. 5 in the Associated Press top-25. The Gamecocks finished the 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 after boasting a 32-1 record and Southeastern Conference title. Four players average in double figures, led by Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston.
Overall: Georgia leads, 33-19
In Athens: Georgia leads, 15-6
In Columbia: Georgia leads, 14-7
Neutral Sites: South Carolina leads, 6-4
Current Streak: South Carolina has won 12-straight meetings
Last Meeting: South Carolina won, 89-56 (3/6/20) at SEC Tournament
Largest Margin of Victory: 43 points, Georgia won 78-35 (2/1/97) in Columbia
Largest Defeat: 35 points, South Carolina won 88-53 (1/26/20) in Athens
Georgia Leads Nation in Blocks
The Lady Bulldogs lead all NCAA teams with 66 total blocks this season. Georgia is averaging 6.6 swats per game, which is the seventh-best average in the country and second in the SEC.
Going for 100
Georgia scored 107 points against Appalachian State on Dec. 22. That total marked the most points by a Georgia team since the 2000-01 campaign and was the first time the Lady Bulldogs have reached the 100-point mark since 2007.
Georgia finished with 32 assists on 46 made baskets against Appalachian State. The 32 dimes are the fourth-most in a single game in Georgia history and the Lady Bulldogs’ best effort since 2003.
The Lady Bulldogs are a much improved team on the offensive end compared to last season. Georgia is averaging 78.4 points per game in 2020 after scoring just 63.2 points per game last year. The team has scored over 80 points four times through the first 10 games. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs scored 80 or more points twice in 31 contests.
Barker Named SEC Freshman of the Week
Sarah Ashlee Barker was named the league’s Freshman of the Week following performances against East Carolina and Oklahoma. Barker continues to play valuable minutes and has made several key plays for the Lady Bulldogs this season.
With 2:19 left in the overtime period against Georgia Tech, 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 then hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma, giving Georgia its largest lead of the game at 14.
Barker recorded her first career double-double with 10 pts. and 12 rebs. against Georgia State.
Taylor, Connally Reach Important Marks Against Tech
Georgia defeated Georgia Tech this year to improve the Lady Bulldogs’ record to 36-7 against the Yellow Jackets. The win also marked the 100th of Coach Taylor’s career. Senior guard Gabby Connally reached the 1,000-point mark with a first-half basket against Tech.
Georgia Reaches 1,000-Win Milestone
With its win against East Carolina on Dec. 3, Georgia became one of just two SEC programs (Tennessee) and one of 16 nationwide to reach the 1,000-win mark. The team commemorated the milestone with a special social media video narrated by Andy Landers and Joni Taylor.