UGA women drop third straight SEC contest

Georgia women's basketball-Georgia Tech
Head coach Joni Taylor

UGA dropped to 0-3 in the SEC after losing 64-53 to No. 10 Kentucky on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum. Shacobia Barbee and Halle Washington led the team with eight points each.

The Bulldogs (12-4, 0-3 SEC) made the first basket of the game but quickly lost the lead as the Wildcats (13-1, 2-1 SEC) outscored them in three straight quarters, giving UGA its third loss in a row.

“It’s disappointing because we had a chance today,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Kentucky’s a really good basketball team, but when we’re climbing ourselves out of the hole, it’s a foul or it’s a turnover or a wasted possession because we don’t execute.”

Here are five observations from Sunday’s game:

1. Another comeback falls short

For the third straight game, UGA found itself fighting back from an early deficit. The Bulldogs went up 2-0 at the start of the game, but the Wildcats went on an 11-2 run to establish an early advantage.

Down by 15 in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs went on a 14-2 run to bring them back within three with just less than three minutes left, but missed shots allowed Kentucky to regain momentum and keep the game out of reach.

“We’ve come out in every SEC game and dug ourselves a hole that we had to climb ourselves out of,” Taylor said. “Credit our players for playing hard, but we’re passed that point. We’re supposed to play hard. We’re supposed to keep fighting, so we can’t look at that and hang our hat on that.”

2. Poor shooting continues

UGA’s shooting troubles continued Sunday against the Wildcats. The Bulldogs shot 29.6 percent in the first half, only making eight of their 27 field goals, while Kentucky shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28).

The Bulldogs ended the game shooting 33.9 percent, with seniors Barbee, Marjorie Butler, Merritt Hempe and Tiaria Griffin shooting a combined 9-for-31.

“It’s time for our seniors to step up,” Taylor said. “I told them that in the huddle. We’re very honest with each other. They’ve carried us so far, and they’ve got to carry today. They know what this league is going to be like.”

3. Bulldogs lose rebound battle

The Bulldogs have had trouble being a consistent rebounding team this season. Kentucky had the rebounding edge in Sunday’s contest, totaling 45 rebounds to Georgia’s 35. Seventeen of Kentucky’s rebounds came from the offensive glass.

This is the second game in a row that UGA lost the rebounding battle and ultimately lost the game.

“One of the things for the game for us was to not allow them to get to the offensive boards, and they have 17 offensive rebounds,” Taylor said. “We can’t have a game plan and then not execute it and expect to win in a league as good as this one.”

4. Halle Washington chips in

Halle Washington provided a much needed spark off the bench for the Bulldogs with eight points. The junior forward shot 4-for-5 from the field and tacked on three offensive boards and two assists.

5. Trouble against ranked opponents

Every loss for the Bulldogs this season has come against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, including their one non-conference loss against Michigan State. UGA will be heading to Gainesville, Fla., on Thursday to take on Florida (14-2, 2-1 SEC).

The Bulldogs will face Florida Thursday at 7 p.m.

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