#16/21 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (18-5, 10-5 SEC)
No. 4 Seed | Quarterfinals | Friday, March 5 | 1:30 p.m. | Bon Secours Wellness Arena | Greenville, S.C.
TV: SEC Network (Eric Frede, Tamika Catchings and Steffi Sorensen)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network (Jeff Dantzler)
• The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team is the No. 4 seed and will play in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 SEC Tournament this Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET. Georgia will go against either No. 5 seed Kentucky, No. 12 seed Florida or No. 13 seed Auburn.
• Georgia head coach Joni Taylor was named the 2021 SEC Coach of the Year and is a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year award.
• After being picked ninth in the SEC preseason coaches poll, Georgia finished fourth in the standings with an 18-5 overall record and 10-5 mark in the SEC play.
• A key reason for Georgia’s turnaround this season can be credited to four senior starters. Georgia’s top four scorers are all college graduates and are pursuing master’s degrees at UGA.
• Senior guard Que Morrison was tabbed the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, while senior center Jenna Staiti placed on the All-SEC second team. Morrison is Georgia’s first Defensive Player of the Year winner since Sherill Baker in 2006.
• Morrison is the defensive stopper on the top defensive team in the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs are the only conference team to rank in the top-5 of the league in scoring defense (60.1 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (.371), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.276), blocked shots (6.3 per game) and steals (9.0 per game).
• Staiti enters postseason play as the SEC’s blocked shots leader with 72 swats (3.1 per game). She needs just 11 points to reach 1,000 for her career. The Cumming, Ga., native could become one of just eight Lady Bulldogs in program history to record 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks.
• Steady Staiti has scored in double figures in 27 of the last 32 games dating back to last season. She has also totaled 11 double-doubles during that time.
• Lady Bulldog rookie guard Sarah Ashlee Barker was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. She has totaled four double-figure scoring games and has played a pivotal role in most of Georgia’s wins.
• Georgia enters the 2021 SEC Tournament with its highest seeding since earning a three seed in 2018. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals that season.
• The Lady Bulldogs have one of the deepest rosters in the nation, routinely playing 11-12 players per game.
• Senior Maya Caldwell enters the tournament following the best game of her career. Caldwell scored a career-best 27 points off an 11-of-15 shooting effort against Florida. It marked just the second time she has scored over 20 points in her career.
Series Information vs. No. 13 Seed Auburn
Overall: Georgia leads, 33-19
In Athens: Georgia leads, 20-5
In Auburn: Tied, 11-11
Neutral Sites: Auburn leads, 3-2
Current Streak: Georgia has won six of the last seven meetings
Last Meeting in SEC Tournament: 2017 — Georgia won 56-52 in the second round
Series Information vs. No. 12 Seed Florida
Overall: Georgia leads, 61-17
In Athens: Georgia leads, 32-5
In Gainesville: Georgia leads, 27-11
Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 2-1
Current Streak: Georgia has won eight-straight meetings
Last Meeting in SEC Tournament: 2004 – Georgia won 76-72 in the quarterfinals
Series Information vs. No. 5 Seed Kentucky
Overall: Georgia leads, 37-21
In Athens: Georgia leads, 17-8
In Lexington: Georgia leads, 14-11
Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 6-2
Current Streak: Kentucky has won three-straight meetings
Last Meeting in SEC Tournament: 2013 — Kentucky won 60-38 in the semifinals
Georgia Season Notebook
Joni Taylor Named SEC Coach of the Year
Georgia head coach Joni Taylor — who led one of the largest single-season turnarounds in school history — was named the 2021 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. She has guided her team to an 18-5 record, which includes wins against top-25 teams Tennessee (twice) and Arkansas.
Taylor Also a Semifinalist for National Coach of the Year
A day after winning the SEC Coach of the Year honor, Taylor was selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2021 Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year. She is seeking to become Georgia’s first National Coach of the Year Award winner since Andy Landers won the honor in 2000. The legendary Landers earned the award four times (1986, 1987, 1996 and 2000).
Georgia Inks Pair of McDonald’s All-Americans
Jillian Hollingshead (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Reigan Richardson (Huntersville, N.C.) — two signees in the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team’s 2021 class — have been named McDonald’s All-Americans, the organization announced last week.
It marks the first time in program history Georgia has signed two McDonald’s All-Americans in one class. Hollingshead and Richardson are the 11th and 12th McDonald’s All-Americans to sign with the Lady Bulldogs, and are the first to commit right out high school since Ronika Ransford in 2010. Current Lady Bulldog Mikayla Coombs was a McDonald’s All-American in 2017.
Georgia is one of only three Southeastern Conference schools — joining South Carolina and Arkansas — to have a signee on this year’s list.
Georgia was picked ninth in this year’s SEC preseason coaches poll and ultimately finished fourth in the standings. Exceeding expectations is nothing new for Joni Taylor’s teams. In five of her six seasons as head coach, her squads have finished ahead of their preseason rankings.
Georgia’s SEC Standings Under Joni Taylor
Season Preseason SEC Finish
2015-16 9th 6th
2016-17 12th 8th
2017-18 8th 2nd (tied)
2018-19 4th 7th
2019-20 10th 9th
2020-21 9th 4th