ATHENS, Ga. — Nine different Lady Bulldogs scored in a balanced offensive attack, but the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team (12-4, 0-3) could not overcome a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter and fell to No. 10/9 Kentucky by a 64-53 final score on Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
Halle Washington and Shacobia Barbee led all Lady Bulldogs with eight points, pacing an offensive effort in which nine of 10 Georgia players who saw playing time also appeared on the score sheet. The home squad showcased team basketball in the offensive end, finishing with 17 assists on 20 buckets. Defensively, the Lady Bulldogs finished just three points off of holding Kentucky to its season low of 61 points.
“We can’t dig ourselves a hole,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “We’ve come out in every SEC game and dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t climb ourselves out of. Credit our players for playing hard, but we’re past that now. We’re supposed to play hard, we’re supposed to keep fighting. If anything, we can look at that and hang our hat on that.”
The Lady Bulldogs jumped on top with their first offensive possession, as Barbee hit Marjorie Butler across the court for a jumper and a 2-0 lead. The lead was short lived, as an 11-2 run for Kentucky gave the Wildcats an 11-4 edge at the first quarter’s halfway point. Georgia battled back, using a 5-0 run sparked by Washington’s layup to pull within as close as two, but trailed 15-11 after 10 minutes.
Kentucky got the better of the first portion of the second quarter, holding Georgia to just 1-for-10 from the field over the first seven minutes, as the Wildcats extended their lead to 27-15, forcing a timeout from the home team. The Lady Bulldogs used the three ball to cut the deficit, with Shanea Armbrister and Mackenzie Engram cashing in from deep to reduce the deficit to 31-21 at the half.
The teams exchanged blows in the early running of the second half, with Kentucky taking the first portion of the third quarter by a 9-7 score to lead 40-28 at the 4:22 mark. The Wildcats kept the defensive clamps on for the remainder of the period, leading 44-30 through 30 minutes of play.
Barbee got on the scoreboard with a layup to start off the fourth quarter, and a lay-in from Washington cut Georgia’s deficit to 11 as the Lady Bulldogs tried to make a run. A 3-ball from Merritt Hempe brought the home squad within eight, and a jumper from Butler at 2:56 brought Georgia within six. After a bucket for Kentucky, Pachis Roberts connected from deep to pull Georgia within five, but was unable to get any closer, falling by a 64-53 final score.
The Lady Bulldogs hit the road to take on Florida and Alabama on Jan. 14 and Jan. 17, respectively, and will return home on Jan. 21 for a contest against Mississippi State.
Follow the Georgia Lady Bulldog’s Basketball team on social media:
And you can also follow the Lady Bulldogs on Instagram: (@uga_wbb)