200206_JCA_WBasketballvsMissou_0015.jpg

Georgia guard Que Morrison (23) cuts in toward the paint during a women’s basketball game against the University of Missouri on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 73-65. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

After closing an early score deficit, Georgia women’s basketball was up 49-48 at the beginning of the fourth period. In the first six minutes of the fourth, Georgia was outscored by Missouri 13-3 leading to a 73-65 defeat in Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday night.

Missouri outscored Georgia in large part to free throws. Several Bulldogs were in foul trouble during the fourth period, Jenna Staiti and Kaila Hubbard both had four, and Que Morrison fouled out near the end of the game. Missouri finished 19-for-23 from the free-throw line, where Georgia finished going 7 for 8. 

Staiti led the Bulldogs with 24 points and nine rebounds, with most of her success coming in the post, as she went 11 for 19.

Freshman guard Chloe Chapman struggled against the Tigers in her first-career start. She was filling in for senior Gabby Connally following her injury in the second quarter against Mississippi State.

“Chloe helped us a lot, but she's not used to playing that many minutes for that long of a period,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “When you have one of your floor generals and best players that doesn’t play, it's always going to have an impact.” 

Taylor said that Connally’s health is day-to-day. 

Georgia’s defense had trouble defending the 3-point shot early in the game. The Tigers’ first two baskets were both 3-pointers, and Missouri found ways passing the ball to find the open shooter. By halftime, Missouri shot 8 for 12 from the 3-point line compared to Georgia going 2 for 5. Despite the gap, Georgia was only down 37-32 going into the half.

Georgia found its first lead of the game following a made 3-pointer from Caitlin Hose, helping the Bulldogs outscore Missouri 17-11 in the third period. 

Missouri secured a nine point advantage during the fourth quarter. With one minute remaining, the Bulldogs brought themselves within five points, but Missouri made nine free throws in the last minute to take the victory, 73-65.