Led by 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks from senior center Jenna Staiti, the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team downed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 75-69, Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Staiti’s effort marked the 10th time in 11 games she has scored in double figures. It was also her fourth double-double and her sixth 20-point effort during that span.
Georgia improves to 2-0 this season and 36-7 all time against Georgia Tech. The victory also marked Joni Taylor’s 100th win as head coach at Georgia and the 999th in program history.
“This was a rivalry game between two good teams, so we knew it was going to be a great game,” Taylor said. “They made runs, we made runs — and that is what really good teams do. We obviously have a few things to work on and improve, but I am happy for our team and excited to leave here with a win.”
With the score tied at 63-63 in overtime, freshman Sarah Ashlee Barker knocked in a short jump shot to give the Lady Bulldogs a 65-63 lead. Then, with 1:13 left, senior Que Morrison nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to extend the Georgia advantage to 68-64. From there, Georgia knocked in free-throws and hung on for the win in overtime.
In the first quarter, Lorela Cubaj stopped an early Georgia Tech scoring drought with a 3-pointer to put her team ahead 7-6. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor and committed just two turnovers in the first 10 minutes, but still trailed 18-17.
Javyn Nicholson gave the Lady Bulldogs valuable minutes off the bench, scoring six early points to help Georgia build a 27-24 advantage with 5:22 remaining in the second quarter.
An 8-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs forced Tech to take a timeout, trailing 33-24 with 3:34 left before the half. Eight different Georgia players scored in the opening 20 minutes, as a balanced effort helped the Lady Bulldogs build a 39-32 lead at the break.
Tech scored the first three baskets of the third quarter, but was quieted down by a pair of Georgia 3-pointers — one from Morrison and the other from Staiti. Georgia’s lead was slim at 45-41 midway through the third.
The Yellow Jackets hit five of their final seven field goals and forced too many Georgia miscues to lead 53-49 going into the fourth.
Tech then missed nine-straight field goals and Staiti went to work in the fourth quarter, scoring six quick points to give Georgia the 60-57 advantage. Down 63-61, Cubaj knocked in a hook shot to knot the score at 63-all. Morrison’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell short and the two teams went to overtime, where Barker and Morrison sealed the win.
Next up, Georgia travels to East Carolina this Thursday to take on East Carolina at 4 p.m. ET.