Women’s Basketball Game Preview: Georgia vs. Missouri

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Women’s Basketball Game Preview: Georgia vs. Missouri

Joni Taylor
Joni Taylor

#20/21 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (17-2, 5-1 SEC) vs. #11 Missouri Tigers (17-2, 5-1 SEC)

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 // 7 p.m. ET // Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

Watch: SEC Network + (Matt Stewart— play-by-play, Angel Gray— analyst)

Radio: 103.7 WKXT-FM and 960 AM; also available on GeorgiaDogs.com and the Georgia Bulldog App

(Jeff Dantzler — The Voice of the Lady Bulldogs)

Game Promotions
– First 250 students receive a free long sleeve t-shirt and pizza

– First 500 faculty and staff members receive a free t-shirt

– Fans who bring their ticket from Tuesday’s men’s basketball game against Arkansas will receive free admission
Opening Tip
» No. 20 Georgia and No. 11 Missouri meet in a pivotal Southeastern Conference game Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum. The contest will air on SEC Network +.
» The Lady Bulldogs, off to their best start since 2009-10, have won five-straight games and are looking to win their sixth consecutive league contest for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
» Georgia has seven wins against top-25 teams in three years under head coach Joni Taylor. Earlier this season, the Lady Bulldogs defeated No. 16 Texas A&M, 92-84, in College Station, Texas.
» Senior forward Mackenzie Engram has scored 20 points or more in three-straight games, marking the best stretch of her career. Engram currently leads the team with 13.5 points per game. Teammate Caliya Robinson has reached double figures in all but one SEC game this season (7 vs. Auburn) and paces the squad with 7.7 rebounds per contest.
» Georgia leads the conference in several categories — blocks (6.8 per game), assists (17.3 per game) and field-goal percentage defense (34.4 percent). The Lady Bulldogs have held 15 of 19 opponents below 40-percent shooting from the field, owning a 15-0 record in those games.
» Even though veterans Engram and Robinson lead the team this season, three of Georgia’s top-5 scorers are newcomers. Starting point guard Taja Cole, who is in her first year in Athens, ranks in the top-5 of the SEC in both assists (90) and assists per game (4.7).
» This year’s Georgia team has already matched last season’s win total, doing so in just 18 games. The Lady Bulldogs are guaranteed a winning season and will remain one of just three programs, joining Tennessee and Green Bay, to have a winning record every year since 1981-82.

Series Information
Overall: Georgia leads, 6-4

In Athens: Georgia leads, 3-2

In Columbia: Tied, 2-2

Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 1-0

Current Streak: Georgia has won three of the last five

Last Meeting: Missouri 63, Georgia 45 (1/1/17)

Largest Margin of Victory: Georgia 77, Missouri 46 (1/3/13)

Largest Defeat: Missouri 63, Georgia 45 (1/1/17)
Last Time Out
After trailing by three points at the half, the then No. 24-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball team used a strong second half to down the Auburn Tigers 60-48 in front of a crowd of 5,012 at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
“Let’s give Auburn credit, they did a great job defensively and keeping us rattled,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “They know exactly who they are, what their identity is, and they stick to it. They had us rattled in the first half. On the flip side of that, we settled in and came out at half time. The defensive end is where it started.”
Senior forward Mackenzie Engram headlined Georgia with 22 points and eight rebounds, recording her third-straight 20-point outing this season. The Powder Springs native has registered double-digit scoring performances in all but four games this season.
“We handled their pressure much better in the second half,” Engram said. “Then we picked it up on the defensive side. Once we were able to handle their press and force them to turnover and break on those turnovers, I think that really helped us out.”
Joining Engram were redshirt sophomore Taja Cole and senior Haley Clark, who provided 10 and eight points, respectively, with all but two Clark points coming in the second half.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.