With five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Georgia women’s basketball’s Jordan Isaacs set the stage for senior Gabby Connally to have one of her most memorable games as a Bulldog against Arkansas.
An offensive rebound by Isaacs put the ball back in Connally’s hands as the clock dwindled down. Tied at 73, Connally aimed for the last-second jumper, and the shot went in with immediate praises from those in attendance.
“I don't want to admit this, but I was not aware of how much time was left on the clock initially,” Connally said. “But then once [head coach Joni Taylor] didn’t call a timeout and I looked at the clock, I realized I had to do something. So I made a move, shot the basketball and it went in.”
Connally said the made basket was the second game-winning shot of her career and first while at Georgia.
Chelsea Dungee, the Razorbacks’ leading scorer, finished with 25 points as Georgia struggled to contain her near the basket.
It was the perfect ending to a fourth-quarter comeback for Georgia, whose shooting was most effective in the first half, going 11-for-15 in the paint. Arkansas shot 44.4% in the first quarter, scoring 11 points in the quarter alone from Georgia turnovers.
Nearly half of Arkansas’ points came off of Georgia’s mistakes in the first half. Arkansas forced 15 turnovers in the first half, allowing for 17 extra points. The Razorbacks also went 11-for-12 at the free-throw line after Georgia posted 10 personal fouls. Six of those points on the line came from Dungee.
But the Bulldogs managed to keep up through second-chance points. Both teams ended the first quarter tied at 25 and entered the half at 39 apiece.
Inconsistent shooting was a trend for Georgia after halftime as the Razorbacks outscored the Bulldogs 19-14.
After falling to a seven-point deficit, Connally had her breakout performance. The Razorbacks secured six points on the line, but Connally came back to answer with eight of her own. Despite the last-second jumper, Connally could not take pride in herself without giving credit to Isaacs.
“I don't think I should actually be sitting here. I think Jordan Isaacs deserves to be sitting here,” Connally said. “She grabbed the board, probably the biggest rebound of the night. Without that rebound, I don’t know what the outcome of the game would have been.”
The Bulldogs have been in this position before after being down 15 points at the half against Tennessee on Jan. 14. Fourth-quarter resiliency is how the Bulldogs have won close contests, Staiti said, and this game was just another testament to that.
“This team has a lot of grit and we fight to the end,” Staiti said. “I really don't think anyone had their heads down. I think it was just that we had to do the little things right, rebound, got to get the loose balls, and we emphasize this a lot in practice.”
Apart from the postgame celebration, Taylor stayed to congratulate her senior as the two shared a moment together on the court.
“Once we got the rebound and it came to her, it was going to be her show and we were going to live and die by that,” Taylor said. “That’s what you do. You get out of the way and let your players make plays. You don't want to overthink it and that’s what we did.”
Georgia improves to 5-2 in the SEC as it will face LSU on Thursday at Stegeman Coliseum.