BIMINI, Bahamas —Georgia sophomore forward Caliya Robinson scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Lady Bulldog basketball team to a 70-58 Thanksgiving Day victory against Minnesota on Thursday in the opening round of the 2016 Junkanoo Jam.
Georgia will now play the winner of the North Carolina vs. USF matchup on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. ET in the Lucaya Division Championship. The Lady Bulldogs improve to 4-1 this season and 2-0 all-time against Minnesota.
“This was a great win and a great way to open the Junkanoo Jam,” associate head coach Karen Lange said. “Caliya had a big night offensively, and we played so hard on the defensive end all day. Minnesota has a really good team and we have to be ready for another test on Saturday.”
Minnesota jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the beginning of the first quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs heated up later in the frame, using a 6-0 run to take a 17-14 lead at the end of the first period. Robinson then exploded in the second quarter, leading all scorers at halftime with 16 points as Georgia took a 36-24 advantage into the locker room.
The Lady Bulldog defense also played pivotal a part in the 12-point lead at the break. Georgia held Minnesota to just 3-of-19 shooting from the field in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs ended the half with a 50-percent clip from the field, hitting 17-of-34 shots.
Minnesota started the second half with two-straight and-ones as the Gophers slowly crawled back into the game. Both Halle Washington and Mackenzie Engram picked up their third fouls early in period, which allowed Minnesota to cut the lead to six, 38-32, with 6:54 left in the third quarter.
Georgia responded to the Gophers’ 12-4 run to begin the third period with back-to-back baskets from Robinson. Still, by the end of the period, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves in foul trouble and clinging to a slim 47-42 advantage.
Once again, the Gophers climbed back in the game and took a 52-50 advantage before Robinson hit a jumper and another 3-point basket to give the Lady Bulldogs control the rest of the way.
Georgia held Minnesota to just 27 percent shooting for the day, with the Gophers hitting just 19 of their 70 field gold attempts.