UGA defeated LSU 58-47 on the road Sunday to tie the season series against the Tigers 1-1. Freshman breakout Caliya Robinson led the Bulldogs with 19 points and 11 rebounds, followed by senior Shacobia Barbee with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Georgia (19-6, 7-5 SEC) outscored the Tigers (8-17, 2-10 SEC) 14-8 in the first quarter for an early lead, but LSU battled back in the second quarter to cut the lead to three for a 25-22 halftime score. The Bulldogs found their footing in the third quarter, shooting 54 percent from the field, and a 16-12 fourth quarter helped secure Georgia’s fifth-straight SEC win.
“We’re just really resilient,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “The credit goes to our players. They could’ve hung their head and threw in the towel, and they didn’t. They stayed the course, and we’ve got people stepping up, and our leaders are continuing to be consistent everyday.”
Here are five observations from the game:
1. Third quarter surge
After LSU jumped out to a 4-0 start in the third, Georgia answered with a 7-0 run of its own to push the lead to 32-26 with just under six minutes left to go in the quarter. The Bulldogs shot 40 percent from the field in the first half but finished the third shooting a game-high 53.8 percent, outscoring LSU 17-13 in the quarter.
2. Freshman leads team
Robinson had a career game. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week notched a double-double of a season-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Robinson shot 9-for-15 from the field, with all of her points coming from inside the paint, and added on four blocks.
“When (Robinson) first got to Georgia, she wanted to be a face-up player and shoot it from the perimeter, and she has the skill to do that,” Taylor said, “but in games like this, we can really take advantage of her size.”
3. Bench on fire
Georgia’s reserves shined in Sunday’s victory as the bench scored 33 points compared to just four from LSU. Behind Robinson were Pachis Roberts with eight points and Shanea Armbrister with six.
“We told (the team) it would be an ‘all hands on deck’ kind of game, and Shanea gave us some really good minutes and hit some shots for us early when Tiaria (Griffin) was struggling,” Taylor said. “We threw her around in different positions and were fortunate to come out here with a win.”
4. Tigers keep fighting
The Tigers were able to stay in the game due to free throws and rebounding. Georgia sent LSU to the line 26 times, as the Tigers made 15 of their attempts for 58 percent. LSU also narrowly outrebounded the Bulldogs 38-36, but the Tigers’ 16 offensive rebounds led to seven second-chance points.
The Bulldogs went to the line 16 times in the game but missed eight of their attempts.
“In (the first media) timeout, I said, ‘Guys, this is what we talked about. Don’t foul them. Don’t let them get offensive boards,’” Taylor said. “And we were doing both of those things. When we got to the free throw line, we didn’t convert. We finished 50 percent from the line, which is just not good enough for this league and the type of close games that we’re going to be in.”
5. Rare win in Baton Rouge
Georgia is now riding its longest SEC win streak since the 2012-13 season. The Bulldogs road victory Sunday was their first win at the Maravich Center since 2001, according to Taylor.
“We knew that it was going to be tough here,” Taylor said. “We haven’t won here since 2001, and there’s a reason why. They’re really tough to beat in (Maravich Center). Credit our players for being ready.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Columbia to face South Carolina on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.