WBB: Lady Dawgs Upset NC State in Overtime
Behind a double-double from Jenna Staiti and 20 points from Que Morrison, the Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball team upset second-ranked NC State in an 82-80 overtime thriller Thursday night at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
The 14th-ranked Lady Bulldogs improve to 9-1 with the win, while the Wolfpack fall to 10-2, their 10-game winning streak coming to an end. There were 13 ties and 11 lead changes in this instant classic which had a March Madness feel on Tobacco Road.
The victory marked Georgia’s first-ever against a team ranked No. 1 or No. 2 nationally on their home floor in a true road game.
“Those were two really good basketball teams just battling it out,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “NC State is so good. They stretch you on both ends of the floor. To me, it felt like March Madness out there. This is the kind of challenge that we wanted. We felt like we were ready for it. They are a good team, and I knew they were going to get back in it. I am just so proud of our effort. Everybody that played tonight stepped up and got a stop for us when we needed one. I am so proud of this team.”
In a back-and-forth instant classic, with Georgia’s backs to the wall, Sarah Ashlee Barker hit a three point field goal from the left wing with less than a second to go in regulation, tying the game 75-75 and forcing overtime.
Georgia leaned on All-SEC graduates Jenna Staiti and Que Morrison in overtime, who both had superb performances. Staiti scored 21 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked six shots. Morrison scored 20 points, had six rebounds, six steals, and equaled her career-best with five steals, all in the first half.
Barker wound up with 16 points, including a trio of fourth-quarter treys, and eight rebounds.
The game was deadlocked 20-20 at the end of a back-and-forth first quarter, which featured six ties and four lead changes.
Georgia played tremendously on both ends of the floor in the second quarter and led 40-28 at the half, outscoring the Wolfpack 20-8 in the period. Staiti scored 12 points prior to intermission, including a three and a pair of free throws in the half’s final minute, as the Lady Bulldogs built their biggest lead.
The Wolfpack came out roaring in the third quarter, led by All-ACC Senior Elissa Cunanae, who missed most of the first half with foul trouble. She scored 13 or her 20 points in the third, as N.C. State grabbed a 52-51 edge heading into the final period.
Prior to Barker’s three, N.C. State’s Kai Crutchfield hit two free throws to put the Wolfpack up 75-72, after rebounding the second of a pair of missed Cunane foul shots with less than five seconds remaining.
The Lady Bulldogs now lead the all-time series with the Wolfpack 9-0.
Georgia returns home for its next game, hosting St. Francis on Sunday, December 19th. Tipoff from the Stegeman Coliseum is set for 2:00.
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