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Georgia guard Que Morrison (23) points before passing the ball. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in overtime 76-75 on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Ryan Cameron rcameron@randb.com)

The Georgia women’s basketball team has gone through a fairly successful season so far in 2021.

Head coach Joni Taylor’s team currently sits at No. 6 in the SEC with an 8-4 conference record and has three regular season games left to play against SEC opposition.

Yet 3-pointers have remained an issue for the Bulldogs this season. 

Considering where Georgia sits in the SEC standings, it might come as a bit of a surprise that Georgia ranks first in field goals converted in conference play. The team has made 60.4% of its attempted field goals across the season. Perhaps unsurprisingly, undefeated conference leader South Carolina (12-0) falls right behind Georgia at 59.2%. 

However, if you look at the SEC’s 3-point shooting statistics for the 2021 season, Georgia lags behind its opponents. No matter how you slice it, the Bulldogs are at or near the bottom of the statistical spreadsheet when it comes to scoring 3-pointers. 

One reason for this surprising stat could be that the Bulldogs simply don’t attempt as many 3-pointers as their conference opponents. 

Georgia has attempted an SEC-low eight 3-pointers per game this season, scoring an average of two per game in conference play. Percentage-wise, the Bulldogs are only outperforming Texas A&M and LSU, two teams that sit above Georgia in the SEC standings. 

The Bulldogs’ 2021 season has also included non-SEC opposition. According to the NCAA’s statistics, Georgia ranks 89th in the country in shooting from behind the arc with 95-288 (32.99%) .

The Bulldogs make up for the lack of 3-point shots in other areas, Taylor said. 

“I think we’re a team that’s streaky from the 3-point line, truth be told,” Taylor said. “We definitely have young ladies who are capable, but that statistically hasn’t been our strong suit. … It’s why you have to be a balanced team.”

Scoring in the paint, capitalizing off turnovers and the team’s strong post performance is where Taylor feels her team makes up for the lack of 3-pointers.

Georgia fares better when defending against 3-point field goal attempts across Division 1 play. Georgia ranks 45th in the country and have conceded 27% of the 3-point shots it's faced this season. 

“3-point field goal percentage defense is one of our key areas to take away, no matter who we play,” Taylor said.

South Carolina has averaged an astonishing 119 points per game in SEC play this season but is ranked 11th in 3-point field goals made and 12th in 3-point field goals attempted. Georgia is ranked last in both of these statistical categories, but South Carolina’s season shows that 3-pointers are not the final word in success. 

“Obviously, I would love to be able to get that number up, and I think we’re capable of that,” Taylor said. “It’s why, for us, we don’t want to live and die by one thing only.”