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Georgia redshirt senior Jenna Staiti (14) shoots the ball. The University of Georgia women’s basketball team defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 73-57 on Jan. 17, 2021, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The Georgia women’s basketball team saw out a relatively comfortable conference win against Ole Miss at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday, defeating the Rebels 73-57. 

Georgia is now on a four-game win streak, as the Bulldogs improve to 12-1 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

“As the season goes on we continue to improve, get better, minimize mistakes, execute on the offensive end and we’re doing that so far,” said head coach Joni Taylor. 

The Bulldogs finished the opening 10 minutes of the first quarter dominating the Rebels. After Ole Miss scored the first basket of the contest, Georgia went on a 10-0 scoring run to garner its first steady lead of the contest. Georgia trailed Ole Miss for a total of 17 seconds, all of which were in the first quarter.

Georgia couldn’t sustain its scoring and defensive form for the entire first quarter, as the Bulldogs endured a nearly four-minute scoring drought that allowed Ole Miss to close the deficit to two points right before the end of the quarter. 

Then Georgia’s Gabby Connally drained a 3-point shot in the last five seconds of the opening quarter to set the score at 13-8. 

Georgia continued to creep away from Ole Miss in the second quarter. The largest gulf between the Bulldogs and the Rebels in the first half was a 14-point gap with 2:30 left in the second quarter. 

The Bulldogs entered halftime leading Ole Miss 36-23. Georgia center Jenna Staiti, the team’s season leader in points per game, led the Bulldogs in points scored at halftime with 10 points. 

Georgia’s Sarah Ashlee Barker, a freshman from Birmingham, Alabama, followed right behind Staiti with nine points scored in the first half off of three 3-pointers.

An apparent injury to Staiti after clashing with an opponent in the opening minute of the third quarter dampened the start to the second half, but the senior returned to the court just minutes later.

Georgia began to pull away from Ole Miss in the third quarter, as the Bulldogs ended the quarter leading the Rebels 54-35. 

As the fourth quarter went on, the Rebels’ chances of a comeback continued to dwindle as Georgia maintained a comfortable lead throughout. Staiti and Connally finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively, and Barker was the only other Bulldog to end in double-digit scoring figures with 11 points.

“I think I owed it to my teammates,” Staiti said. “I wasn’t able to be a factor in that last game [against Tennessee], so honestly I just wanted to go out there and play for them.” 

Georgia also made 53.7 % of its field-goal attempts while the Rebels connected on 41.8% of their field-goal attempts.

Next, the Bulldogs will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 21 to face No. 5 South Carolina, with tipoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m.