Georgia (16-6, 4-5 SEC) vs. No. 21 Missouri (18-4, 5-4 SEC)
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 | Mizzou Arena | 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network + // Ben Arnet (pbp) and Jarret Sutton (analyst)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network by IMG (Jeff Dantzler, PBP)
The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team treks to Columbia, Mo., on Thursday to face its sixth ranked opponent in the last 10 games as UGA takes on No. 21 Missouri at 8 p.m. ET at Mizzou Arena.
For more information about the game, follow the Lady Bulldogs on Twitter (@UGA_WBB), Instagram (@uga_wbb) and Facebook (Georgia Women’s Basketball).
Opening Tip — Five Things To Know
– Georgia heads to Missouri to meet the Tigers for the ninth time in school history. The Lady Bulldogs are 1-1 against the Tigers in Columbia with their last win coming in 1984 — a 70-67 victory for Georgia. The Lady Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 5-3, and lost the earlier meeting this season, 54-48, in Athens.
– Georgia enters Thursday’s game with two-straight wins this season, including a 64-58 victory at Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Lady Bulldogs are 2-2 on the road in SEC play this season with last Sunday’s win against Vandy and a victory at then-No. 20 Florida on Jan. 14.
– UGA boasts one of the top defenses in the nation, leading the SEC (11th nationally) in scoring defense (52.1 ppg), while ranking first in the SEC (10th nationally) in field-goal percentage defense (34.4 ppg) and first in the league (first nationally) in 3-point field percentage defense (23.1%).
– Freshman forward Caliya Robinson has averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.5 rebounds per contest over the last two games. Robinson came off the bench to score 14 points and finished 7-of-9 from the field against Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Marietta, Ga., native, who has played in all nine SEC games, currently leads the team in blocked shots with 20 this season.
– Most of Georgia’s scoring this season has come from senior guards Tiaria Griffin and Shacobia Barbee. Griffin leads the team in scoring with 14.0 ppg, while Barbee is averaging nearly a double-double with 12.7 ppg and a team-leading 9.1 rebounds per game.
A Georgia Win Would …
– Be Georgia’s first victory in Columbia, Missouri since 1984. The Lady Bulldogs won that meeting 70-67 in what was the first-ever game between the two programs.
– Give the Lady Bulldogs their first-ever win in Mizzou Arena. The relatively new facility was opened in 2004.
– Improve Georgia’s SEC record to 5-5 this season, just one victory shy of matching last season’s SEC win total.
– Would give Georgia its third road league victory of the year.
Overall: Georgia leads, 5-3
In Athens: Georgia leads, 3-2
In Columbia: Tied, 1-1
Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 1-0
Current Streak: Georgia, 1-0
Last Meeting: Missouri won, 54-48 (1/7/16) Athens
Led by freshman Sophie Cunningham, No. 21 Missouri enters Thursday’s game on a three-game win streak with victories against Florida, LSU and Ole Miss. The Tigers are one of the top scoring teams in the SEC, averaging 72.4 points per game. Missouri is second in the league in free-throw percentage (73.7 %) and is fifth in the league in field-goal percentage (44.4%).
Last Time Out
Behind standout performances from Shacobia Barbee, Caliya Robinson and Tiaria Griffin, the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team emerged from Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium victorious for the first time in a decade with a 64-58 win on Sunday afternoon.
Barbee led all scorers in the contest with 15 points, finishing only two rebounds shy of posting a double-double. Robinson posted 14 points, going 7-for-9 from the field while playing a large role off the bench for the Lady Bulldogs. Griffin finished the contest with 13 points, nine of which came via the deep ball on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter to jumpstart the Georgia offense.
“I challenged them,” said head coach Joni Taylor. “I struggle sometimes with what to tell this team because they take certain things as pressure. But I started out by saying ‘Hey, you seniors, you’ve never lost to Georgia Tech. You seniors, you held up the non-conference winning streak at home. You’ve got another challenge here today. We haven’t won here since 2006. You’re coming off of breaking an SEC record against Auburn for fewest points (allowed) with 30. Let’s go break another thing that needs to be broken today with going to Vanderbilt and getting our first win in 10 years.’ That’s special, and I think they took that to heart.”
Lady Bulldogs Get W In Nashville
» Georgia used a 16-0 run in the first quarter and 14 points from freshman Caliya Robinson to down Vanderbilt last Sunday in Nashville. The victory against the Commodores represented UGA’s first win at Memorial Gymnasium since 2006 and gave the Lady Bulldogs their second SEC road win of the year.
Georgia Uses Record-Breaking Performance To Down Auburn
» Georgia clamped down on the defensive end to hold Auburn to its lowest point output of the season and the lowest point total by any of UGA’s SEC opponents in school history. The Lady Bulldogs held the Tigers to just 15 points over the final three quarters and held AU scoreless for just over eight minutes in the third period.
The record-breaking performance for Georgia is nothing new for the Lady Bulldogs this season. Earlier in the year, UGA held Georgia Southern to just 28 points — the lowest by any opponent in the NCAA era of Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball.
Griffin Moving Up Career 3-Point Chart
» UGA senior guard Tiaria Griffin has moved up to No. 4 on Georgia’s all-time career made 3-point field goals chart with 196 treys in her career at Georgia. In third place is Khaalidah Miller (218 made 3-point baskets), who played for the Lady Bulldogs from 2010-14.
Butler An Academic All-America Nominee
» Georgia senior guard Marjorie Butler has been nominated for the 2015-16 CoSIDA Academic All-America team for her efforts in the classroom. Butler, who has been accepted to medical school at the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Florida and UAB, among other schools, already has a degree in exercise science and will graduate with a second degree in biology this May.
UGA One Of Top Defenses Nationally
» The Lady Bulldogs have held 20 of 22 opponents at 40 percent or lower shooting this season and have held six teams to their season lows in scoring. Georgia is holding teams to just 52.1 points per game this season. The school record for lowest points per game average given up by a Georgia team is 53.9 ppg, which was set by the 2012-13 NCAA Elite Eight team.
A Trio Of Ranked Wins
» Georgia has won three games over ranked opponents for the first time since the 2012-13 Elite 8 season. Two of those victories have come against SEC foes — No. 20 Florida and No. 10 Mississippi State. Both contests in SEC play were strong defensive efforts by the Lady Bulldogs, as Georgia held each team to its respective season low in scoring and a sub-40 shooting percentage.
Strong Start One For The Records
» The 12-1 start for Georgia head coach Joni Taylor ties for the third-best start by an SEC coach in his or her first season at a school since women’s basketball became an NCAA sport. Pokey Chatman (13-0, LSU in 2004-05) and Tom Collen (13-0, Arkansas in 2007-08) are the only two to have better starts through their first 13 games.