A nail-biter in Stegeman Coliseum highlighted the blossoming junior class coach Joni Taylor calls her own. The 76-75 victory over Alabama showed that Georgia has a strong foundation that seems to be coming together at the right time.
Four of the five Georgia starters scored in double digits against Alabama on Sunday. Redshirt junior Jenna Staiti and junior Que Morrison both tallied 18 points on the day. Juniors Gabby Connally and Maya Caldwell added 15 and 10, respectively. The scoring surge shows how strong the class of 2021 is for coach Taylor.
“Just letting them know they've played well down the stretch,” Taylor said, “They have put three, four, five games in a row well and they have played well for us for a long time. When you play that well it can give you confidence as a player.”
Staiti is in the middle of the best run of games in her career. She has scored double-digit points in four of the last five games, including a career high 24 points against Missouri. She has enjoyed an increased role this season, starting in all 25 games.
Morrison has also begun to thrive as the Bulldogs have gained recent momentum. She tied her season high with 18 points, added three steals and logged a career-high 44 minutes in the overtime win on Sunday.
Although Morrison is only a junior, she boasts the most starts on the team with 62 in her career. Coach Taylor has used her experienced players to create a system that is showing promise despite an up-and-down season.
"My emotions are really for my coach most importantly,” Morrison said. “Coming into this game, we really needed a win and we came out with a win. It puts a smile on coach's face, so it means a lot to me."
Taylor will try to use the experience to end the season on a good run. Georgia has lost 11 games this season and seven of those losses have come to teams in the AP Top 25. Taylor can see that the Bulldogs have pushed over the hump and now have the opportunity to finish strong.
“We are approaching a point in our season where it is all kind of coming together for us,” Taylor said.
Georgia will take on No. 16 Texas A&M on Thursday night with a chance to strengthen their resume with only four regular season games remaining.