Jenna Staiti’s double-double and a 10-0 second-quarter run sealed a 67-52 win for the No. 19-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs over Mercer on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia improves to 3-0 on the season, while the Bears fall to 2-2. The Lady Bulldogs have now won 26 straight against their opponents from Macon.
The Lady Bulldogs boasted four double-digit scorers, led by 13 points apiece from Staiti, Que Morrison and Javyn Nicholson.
“Mercer is a really good team, and we knew they were going to come in and play us tough,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “We play them every single year; we have so much respect for them. Suzie has done an amazing job building that program. You’re talking about a team who has won their conference championship and been to the NCAA tournament three out of the last four years, so we knew they were going to come in and defend us well. They’re very familiar with us, we’re very familiar with them. We got off to a slow start offensively, we weren’t making shots and we were letting it affect how we were playing on the other end of the floor. So, we regrouped after the first quarter and really buckled down defensively and figured out different ways to score – getting offensive rebounds, getting out and transition and were able to get the lead going into halftime.”
After going scoreless on the opening four possessions, Mikayla Coombs collected a pass on the baseline and drove to the basket for the lay-up. Sarah Ashlee Barker doubled the Lady Bulldogs point tally with a jumper on the next possession. At the end of the first quarter, Mercer led Georgia 14-12
The Lady Bulldog offense sparked to life in the second quarter behind Staiti’s team-leading 11 points. At the 7:25 mark, Staiti took an inbound pass and finished for two in the paint. On the following possession, following a personal foul on Mercer, she added two more at the line. A Barker put-back from an offensive rebound tied the game at 25. Georgia pushed on to a 31-25 lead at half-time.
The Georgia offensive prowess continued throughout the third quarter as Morrison added another 10 points to her total and the team shot 50 percent from the field. The Lady Bulldog defense took over, holding the Bears to just seven points throughout the quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs closed out the game behind Jillian Hollingshead’s 7 point, 5 rebound fourth quarter. Mercer’s Amoria Neal-Tysor led all players tonight with 19.