The UGA women’s basketball team (10-1) came off a 12-day rest to win a tough fight against Wright State (10-3) on Sunday, extending its winning streak to nine games. After a back-and-forth battle between the two teams at the end of the game, the Bulldogs ended on a 7-1 run to beat the Raiders 63-57.
“We spent a lot of time in the preseason and the first months of practice doing late-game situations, playing around with calling time-outs and advancing the basketball, and we haven’t had to use it,” Georgia coach Joni Taylor said after the game. “I was glad that when the time came, they were ready and prepared, and they executed.”
Here are five observations from Sunday’s game:
Georgia battles from behind
The Bulldogs and Raiders went back and forth throughout the first half of the game until the Raiders executed a 12-2 run to put them up by seven heading into halftime. Wright State, which entered Sunday’s contest with a six-game winning streak, jumped out to a 10-point lead in the third quarter.
Georgia then began to chip away at the lead, and a pair of free throws by Pachis Roberts and a 3-pointer by Tiaria Griffin put the Bulldogs up by two at the end of the third, as they outscored the Raiders 23-14.
The fourth quarter came down to the wire as the teams tied four times. A jumper by Merritt Hempe put the Bulldogs up by two with 3:14 remaining in the game, and the Raiders were never able to regain back the lead, giving Georgia a 63-57 victory.
Georgia’s defense stifles top offensive team
Wright State entered the game as one of the top offensive teams in the nation. The Raiders averaged 83.8 points per game prior to Sunday’s match-up, which ranked 11th nationally.
Georgia’s defense was able to hold Wright State to 57 points, their lowest point total of the season. The Raiders ended the game shooting 33.3 percent.
“At halftime, we just talked about, ‘hey, we’re fine,’” Taylor said. “Defensively, we held a good team below their average, and we’ve got to come out and do the same thing offensively. The shots are going to fall.”
Hempe continues to lead
In Georgia’s last contest against Furman, Hempe recorded her fourth double-double of the season. Hempe yet again was able to pace the Bulldogs with 19 points and was one rebound shy of earning her fifth double-double.
“At halftime, we didn’t think we did a good job of getting [Hempe] the basketball as she was being guarded by someone bigger than her,” Taylor said. “She really did a great job of moving in the third and fourth quarter, taking advantage of her opportunities and crashing the offensive glass.”
Other Bulldogs in double figures were Griffin with 12 and Shacobia Barbee with 15. Barbee also led the team with nine assists.
Wright’s Hayes on fire
Wright State’s Antania Hayes proved to be a problem for the Bulldogs as she recorded 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Hayes entered the contest averaging 10.9 points this season.
Hayes also recorded six rebounds and made eight out of her 15 free throws.
Shacobia Barbee reaches new milestone
Barbee joined great company during Sunday’s game as her first basket boosted her to 1,000 career points. Barbee is now the 37th player in Georgia women’s basketball history to record such a feat.
Barbee is the second Bulldog this season to reach 1,000 career points as Griffin also joined the 1,000-point club against Kennesaw State.
The Bulldogs will return to action on Wednesday at 1 p.m. against Cincinnati in Stegeman Coliseum.
— By Mariya Lewter, Special for DawgNation