The Georgia women’s basketball team dropped its first contest of the season to the second-ranked Texas Longhorns 81-53 at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
The Lady Bulldogs held the national leader in scoring offense to its second-lowest scoring output of the season. Entering the contest, Georgia and Texas were just two of 20 teams nationally that had an undefeated record. Georgia moves to 7-1 now, with Texas improving to 7-0.
Senior Mackenzie Engram led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points, totaling the most in her career against a ranked opponent. The forward has delivered a double-figure scoring performance in all but one game to start the season. She also contributed on defense, posting five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
“Texas is a really good team,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “I thought we fought hard. I thought we had good effort to try to get back in the game, but you can’t give the No. 2 team in the country a lead like that and expect to overcome it.”
Senior guard Ariel Atkins, Texas’ leading scorer with 17 points, sunk a quick jumper to open the contest. Georgia junior forward Caliya Robinson answered right back with a high-flying, alley-oop assisted by senior guard Haley Clark.
By the end of the first quarter, the Longhorns led 22-9 on account of 11 early points from Atkins. Engram led Georgia with five points and three rebounds in the first period.
To open the second quarter, redshirt sophomore Taja Cole scored back-to-back buckets, including a nifty set of crossovers on her way to a layup that cut the Texas lead to single digits. Soon after, freshman guard Que Morrison drove to the basket and finished a three-point play to lead the Lady Bulldogs on a 12-6 run.
Freshman guard Gabby Connally, who finished with nine points, chipped in five in the second period, including a 3-pointer to make it 32-25. The Longhorns, however, rode a 14-2 run from that point on towards a 46-27 halftime lead. The Bulldogs owned the glass with 10 first half offensive rebounds.
After the break, Engram carried the Lady Bulldogs with nine points in the third quarter on 4-of-6 shooting. Freshman guard Maya Caldwell joined her with six points on a pair of inside layups and a jumper. The Longhorns kept Georgia at bay as they led 67-44 ahead of the final quarter.
Georgia held Texas scoreless for the first 3:12 of the final frame. Consecutive buckets from sophomore Stephanie Paul, Connally and Robinson cut the deficit, but a final five points from the Longhorns secured the contest 81-53.
Morrison recorded a career-high 10 rebounds on the game while Robinson added her fourth outing of the season with four or more blocks. The junior has posted a block in each of Georgia’s eight games.
CLICK HERE for the full box score for the Georgia-Texas women’s basketball game.
Next up, Georgia takes an 11-day break for finals before making its final road trip of the Lady Bulldogs’ 13-game non-conference slate with a trek to North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Dec. 14. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at Corbett Sports Center.