Georgia traveled to Fayetteville Thursday night and managed to outlast Arkansas offensively and come out with a win 80-72.
“Overall for us, we were able to get the ball in the paint and hit some big shots,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “That was the difference tonight.”
The Lady Bulldogs entered the contest on a three-game losing streak, largely because of a struggling offense. That poor offensive streak ended quickly, as the team came out and started the game on a 7-0 run, forcing an early Arkansas time out.
After that, the Razorbacks went on a 7-0 run of their own, setting the tone for a first half that would go back and forth between the two teams and feature good offensive execution by both sides.
Georgia scored 18 first-quarter points and improved on that in the second. A feeble second quarter, scoring only nine points and allowing 21, doomed the team in its matchup with Alabama. Against Arkansas, the team scored 20 points and was able to ensure a close game at the break.
Georgia trailed 43-38 at the half but came out of the third period with a 62-55 lead. Five straight points by Stephanie Paul put Georgia up double digits early in the fourth.
A near four-minute scoring drought allowed Arkansas to get back within three points, but a Caliya Robinson bucket followed by a Gabby Connally steal and layup gave Georgia enough room to close out the game.
Georgia beat Arkansas on the glass 44 to 28. As a team, Georgia shot 50 percent, while holding the Razorbacks to only 37.5 percent from the field.
Turnovers still an issue
Georgia shot much better from the field, but still struggled at times to keep possession of the ball. The team finished with 22 turnovers after having 18 in its last game. Arkansas scored 27 points off those turnovers, many of which were simple passing errors while Georgia moved through its sets.
Maya Caldwell moved into the starting lineup at the four, replacing Stephanie Paul, who had started every prior game this season. Caldwell was one of Georgia’s better players in its last game against Alabama, and continued that good run with 12 points.
She was a big part of Georgia’s early run, scoring two early baskets, one on a put back after a missed layup in transition.
Even though she came off the bench, Paul still had a big impact for Georgia. She scored eight points and had an important string of five straight early in the fourth.
Que Morrison stayed in the starting five despite Taja Cole’s return. Donnetta Johnson returned to the bench instead as Morrison continues to work her way back into form after missing the early part of the season with a knee injury.
Chelsea Dungee- The Arkansas guard gave Georgia problems all night, scoring 28 points, 18 in the second half. She turned the ball over only once while shooting 9-18 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line.
Gabby Connally- Going back to her position off the ball with the return of Cole to run the point, Connally went right back to being Georgia’s most dangerous scorer. She finished with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting and 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. She added a team high eight assists in 38 minutes of action.
Taja Cole- After missing a single game, Cole threatened a triple double with 12 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. She shot only 4-for-12 from the field, but went 4-for-5 from the free throw line and picked up two steals while playing the entire 40 minutes.
Kaila Hubbard- Along with Paul, Hubbard came off the bench to have a big scoring impact. She finished with an efficient nine points on 3-for-4 shooting and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. The Freshman played 25 minutes, a high for her since late December during non-conference play.