UGA’s 11-game win streak came to an end Sunday as the Bulldogs fell to Texas A&M, 73-62, in their SEC season opener.
Shacobia Barbee led the team with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Tiaria Griffin added 14 points of her own. UGA (12-2, 0-1 SEC) cut the Aggies’ lead to eight with 25 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs’ late comeback failed as they fell to Texas A&M (11-3, 1-0 SEC) in College Station, Texas.
“We’ve got to be better about handling the pressure and not letting it rattle us and still running our offense,” head coach Joni Taylor said following the game.
Here are five observations from Sunday’s game:
1. Offensive struggles
The Bulldogs struggled offensively throughout most of the game. Georgia ended the first quarter with a 13-11 lead, but the Aggies outscored the Bulldogs 22-13 in the second. Georgia ended the first half shooting 36.7 percent, making only 11 of its 30 field goals, while the Aggies shot 44.8 percent.
The shooting woes continued in the second half as the Bulldogs were outscored again in the third quarter 20-12. Georgie pulled within 10 three times in the fourth quarter and even got the lead down to eight in the final seconds of the game, but missed shots and free throws spoiled the Bulldogs’ chance of a comeback.
“Our defense was okay at times,” Taylor said. “It was too easy. We were too passive. We weren’t aggressive, and we weren’t the team we’ve been defensively, and because of that, we didn’t come down and execute on the offensive end.”
2. Foul trouble
The Bulldogs also struggled with foul trouble against Texas A&M. Georgia sent the Aggies to the free throw line 34 times in Sunday’s matchup. The Aggies took full advantage, making 28 of their attempts.
The Bulldogs had 20 fouls in the second half, and guard Marjorie Butler fouled out in the fourth quarter with five.
“I think we fouled them way too much,” Taylor said. “We sent them to the free throw line 34 times, and you just can’t do that against a really good team.”
3. Bench falls flat
Georgia saw very little help from the bench in Sunday’s contest. Georgia’s bench only scored 13 points, compared to Texas A&M’s 28.
All of Georgia’s bench points came from redshirt junior Pachis Roberts, while Halle Washington and Caliya Robinson combined went 0-for-6.
4. Barbee the silver lining
Shacobia Barbee proved to be a bright spot in Georgia’s tough SEC loss. The senior struggled offensively in the first half but led in rebounding and assists.
Barbee then caught fire in the second half, ending the game with 17 points to go along with 14 rebounds and six assists. She was also 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
“(Shacobia) led us all day long, not just from a scoring standpoint, but just off the floor,” Taylor said. “She guarded (Courtney) Williams, held Williams to nine points and switched off on (Courtney) Walker at times. I was really proud of her. In the past, a game like this would have frustrated her in probably not a positive way, but she stayed with it.”
5. No wins in College Station
Texas A&M currently leads the series against Georgia 5-1. Georgia is now 0-2 in College Station. Georgia’s only win against the Aggies came on Jan. 22, 2015 in Athens.
“When we’re at home, we play more comfortable,” Taylor said. “We’re at ease, but we’ve got to do that on the road.”
The Bulldogs will return home Thursday to face Missouri at 7 p.m.