Georgia Looks to Stay Hot at Florida
Feb. 25, 2017
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Overall: Georgia leads, 53-16
The Gators are coming off a tough stretch of games against Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Gators are currently in 12th place in the SEC standings with a 4-11 mark against league opponents. Florida, which lost Eleanna Christinaki (who was averaging 17.6 points per game) in December after she transferred to Maryland, is led by Ronni Willams' 18.7 points per game.
Last Time Out
The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team (15-13, 7-8) secured a 71-65 overtime victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide (17-11, 5-10) in their regular season home finale in Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday.
Late in the overtime period, Caliya Robinson hit a contested layup to put her team up 65-63. On the following possession, Alabama's Ashley Williams made one of two free throws, but Halle Washington responded by draining a pair of her own for a 67-64 advantage. The Tide followed with two missed free throws, allowing redshirt senior guard Pachis Roberts to finalize the Georgia win with four consecutive made foul shots.
"If you look back to January we lost five games in a row, so these overtime wins are great," head coach Joni Taylor said. "The thing about this team that I am so proud of is that we've learned from it. Here we are sitting in that huddle in overtime and we're confident. We're confident in what we can do and I feel good about where we are going into the tournament."
Robinson Triples Scoring Numbers
Georgia is now 5-2 in its last seven SEC games after starting the league schedule with a 2-6 mark. During that time frame, Caliya Robinson's numbers have jumped from just 5.8 ppg in the first eight to 17.7 ppg in the last seven contests. Robinson has scored in double figures, including three 20-plus point efforts, in each of the last seven games.
Staying At Home, Making A Difference
All three of Georgia's top scorers are from the state of Georgia. Caliya Robinson (Marietta), Pachis Roberts (Powder Springs) and Mackenzie Engram (Powder Springs) each average in double figures and make up 62 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' scoring.
Georgia Coming Together At The Right Time
The Lady Bulldogs, who faced a tough early SEC schedule, which included two games against #7 South Carolina within two weeks of each other, have started to come together as the team reaches the stretch run of the SEC season. Georgia has won five of its last seven games, including two-straight on the road with wins at Arkansas and at Auburn. The Lady Bulldogs have won three overtime games in the month of February, including victories against then-No. 25 Tennessee, LSU and Alabama.
ESPNW National Player of The Week ... Caliya's Rare Feat
For only the second time in school history a Lady Bulldog has won National Player of the Week honors. Georgia sophomore Caliya Robinson established herself among some of the top players in the nation with back-to-back 20-point performances -- one coming on the road at Arkansas and the other against Tennessee. The 6-foot-3 sophomore not only averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest, she also recorded a career-high seven blocks in the win against the Razorbacks. The only other Lady Bulldog to garner the prestigious honor was Kedra Holland-Corn in 1997. She won the award after scoring 24 points against No. 12 Virginia and 30 against No.4 Tennessee.
Lady Bulldogs' Impressive SEC Wins ... Playing Well Against RPI Top-25
Georgia has recorded wins against Tennessee, Auburn and LSU in the same season for the first time since the 1996-97 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs (second), Lady Vols (first), LSU (third) and Auburn (fourth) rank at the top of the league in the all-time standings. Georgia also has two wins against teams with a top-25 RPI (Tennessee and Texas A&M), while the squad's six losses to RPI top-25 teams have come by an average margin of just over nine points per game.
The Lady Bulldogs led #3 Mississippi State for over 31 minutes in Starkville, including a 42-39 lead going into the fourth quarter. Georgia also led #7 South Carolina, 55-53, with just over four minutes remaining and had a chance to tie it with three seconds to go during their meeting in Columbia earlier this year.
Tennessee Win The First Since 2010
The Georgia vs. Tennessee rivalry is seen by many as the best in SEC women's basketball. The Feb. 5th meeting will go down as one of the most intense between the two programs, with the Lady Bulldogs taking an 81-78 win in double overtime. The victory marked Georgia's first against the Lady Vols since 2010, breaking a streak of 10-straight losses.
Close Games No Problem for Lady Bulldogs
Georgia boasts a 6-1 record in games decided by five points or less, including an impressive 4-1 mark in SEC play, with the only loss coming in a 66-63 road defeat at No. 5 South Carolina. Georgia has hosted a pair of thrillers at Stegeman Coliseum, using a buzzer-beater by freshman Stephanie Paul to take down Vanderbilt, before a double-overtime, back-and-forth game against Tennessee on Feb. 5 an overtime win against LSU on Feb. 19 and an overtime battle vs. Alabama on Feb. 23.
Pachis' Production Up In Senior Season
Just one glance at the stat sheet and it is easy to see Pachis Roberts' improvement in her senior season. She is averaging 14.4 points per game (15.9 per game in conference play) and has started all 28 contests. In her previous three years combined she started just 13 games and averaged 5.0 ppg.
Defensive Numbers Carrying Over
Georgia led the Southeastern Conference in most major defensive categories last season, pacing the league in field-goal percentage defense, 3-point field-goal percentage defense and scoring defense. Even though the team is mostly different from a season ago with the departure of four senior starters, some of those numbers have carried over. Georgia has held 20 opponents at or below 40-percent shooting this season, including a season-low 35.9 percent shooting effort from Texas A&M and a 27.8 percent performance from Arkansas. In the Joni Taylor Era, Georgia has held 48 of 59 opponents to the 40-percent clip.
Robinson Puts Her Name Among Georgia Greats
With her 24-point, 11-rebound effort against Samford on Dec. 22, Caliya Robinson became just the fourth Lady Bulldog since 2000 to record three or more 20-point, 10 rebound games in their careers, joining an elite group of former Lady Dogs — Tasha Humphrey, Christi Thomas and Kara Braxton. Robinson already has 21 double-figure scoring efforts and six double-doubles.
Caliya Robinson became the first Lady Bulldog since Tasha Humphrey in 2008 to score 30 points in a single game. Robinson had a career day against Minnesota on Nov. 24, scoring 30 points off a 14-for-27 shooting performance. Humphrey scored 32 points against Florida on Feb. 24, 2008.
Short Bench, Starting Five Shift for The Lady Bulldogs
Georgia's roster features just eight scholarship players and one walk-on this season. The Lady Bulldogs lost four senior starters off last year's team and lost incoming freshman Kortney Eisenman due to a heart condition before the start of the season. Georgia has used eight different starting lineup combinations so far with the most recent being Haley Clark, Shanea Armbrister, Stephanie Paul, Pachis Roberts and Mackenie Engram.
Georgia's 2017 Signing Class Ranked Top-10 Nationally
The Lady Bulldogs' 2017 signing class currently ranks among the top-10 in the nation according to ESPN.com's Hoopgurlz. Georgia signed four highly-touted recruits, including five-star guards Que Morrison and Gabby Connally, four-star guard Maya Caldwell and four-star forward Malury Bates. Each player is ranked in the top-15 at her position nationally, with Morrison coming in as the No. 7 ranked overall guard, Connally the No. 8 point guard, Bates the No. 8-ranked forward and Caldwell the 15th-ranked wing prospect nationally.
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For more information on the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, follow the team on Twitter (@UGA_WBB), Instagram (@uga_wbb), Facebook (Facebook.com/UGAWomensBasketball) and Snapchat (@uga_wbb).
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