The Women’s Bouncy Ball team went into Athens looking to get above .500 in conference play. Georgia had pulled off a phenomenal comeback win over Tennessee a week ago, but followed that win by laying and egg at Missouri on Thursday night, losing 61-35. Georgia was 10-0 coming into Sunday’s game and had beaten the Ags last year in OT.
After Shambria Washington stole the opening tip and got a layup and Chennedy Carter hit a 3 pointer, it looked like Georgia might live up to its home record. The Dawgs would take a 6 point 11-5 lead in the first quarter as Carter missed her next four shots and committed an early foul. The Ags closed the gap and Carter tied the score at 14, but then she committed her second foul with 3:14 remaining in the first period. Birthday girl and Georgia native Jada Walton came in for Carter and fans everywhere looked for Georgia to take advantage of the absence of the SEC’s leading scorer.
It didn’t happen.
After N’dea Jones blocked a shot by Stephanie Paul, Walton was fouled and gave the Ags the lead by hitting 1 of 2 FTs. A pair of putbacks by Ciera Johnson were countered by just one FG from the home team and A&M led 19-16 after 1 quarter.
Carter started the second quarter on the bench and the Ags stretched the lead to 5 in her absence. Carter would return in the middle of the second quarter, but wither her and without her A&M was the more aggressive team. The Ags would outrebound the Dawgs 29-16 with Jones grabbing 13 in the half. A&M also got to the FT line 10 times vs 4 for UGA, making 9-10. So even though Georgia shot a higher FG% 41.4% vs 31.6%, A&M took a 36-28 lead into the intermission.
A&M stretched the lead to 12 in the third quarter but then Georgia started whittling away at the lead as the Aggie offense got disorganized. UGA would end up outscoring the Ags in the period by 3 as Taja Cole started finding holes in the D for assists easy buckets and transfer sub Jenna Staiti added to the Georgia offense. But Cole and star forward Caliya Robinson each got their third foul in the third period.
As the final 10 minutes started, Georgia’s crowd was getting excited. A pair of FTs by Robinson would tie the game at 55 just 2 minutes into the quarter and it seemed like the game might slip away. But Coach Blair called a 30 second timeout and the Ags regrouped. Carter found Johnson inside for a layup to break the tie and start a 9-0 run. As part of that run Carter baited Gabby Connally in to committing a foul as Chennedy went up for a low % 3 pt attempt with the shot clock running down. A swipe and a score by Carter made it 64-55 with 5:50 left in the game. After Que Morrison cut the lead to 8, Carter would get fouled by Robinson in the paint on a made layup. Robinson was called for a technical for either stepping over Carter while she was lying on the floor or for saying something - it wasn’t clear what happened to me on the stream. But that fouled out Georgia’s best player. Carter would miss the technical FTs and convert the and one to make it a 9 point lead. Georgia would get to within 4 but A&M had an answer each time and eventually won by 10. The dagger was probably a corner 3 pointer by Kayla Wells with 1:47 remaining right after Cole had gotten Georgia to within 4.
Final score Ags 76 Bulldogs 66
- Carter would score a season high 31, breaking Courtney Walker’s career record for 20+ point games. But it took 28 FG attempts and 13 FT attempts to get there, and the analysts and fans alternated between singing her praises and saying she needs to improve at getting her teammates more involved. And for me one of the two keys to the win was how the team rallied with Carter on the bench in the first half (the run after the 55-55 tie was the other).
- Kayla Wells and Shambria Washington each had 15 points. It was the second game in a row that Washington raised her A&M career high.
- N’dea Jones finished with 21 rebounds, making her the first Ag to break 20 rebounds in more than one game in a season. Jones is another Georgian and talked earlier about how she had a large contingent of supporters in the stands.
- Ciera Johnson had another double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
- Rebounding was dominant. The 47-31 edge included 16 offensive boards which translated into 21 second chance points.
- Gabby Connally led Georgia with 18. Robinson and Staiti each had 14.
- Auburn Tigers
- Thursday January 24, 2019 7:30 PM CST
- Auburn Arena, Auburn AL
- SEC Network Radio 102.7 FM
The Auburn Tigers are 15-3 and like the Ags are 3-2 in SEC play. Auburn’s losses are to Miss State and Tennessee, while they’ve beaten Florida, Alabama, and Vanderbilt. They needed a big rally to get out of Nashville with the win after trailing by 49-29 in the third quarter. Auburn under Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy is known for their aggressive trapping zone defense. They force opponents into an average of 21.9 turnovers/game. Coach Blair talks about how preparing for Auburn is hard because nobody else plays D using a scheme like theirs.
- #20 6-3 So F Unique Thompson was on the SEC All-Freshman team last season. She’s averaging 12.7 ppg and 10.7 rpg this season and leads the team in blocked shots.
- #33 5-6 Sr G Janiah McKay leads Auburn in scoring at 14.1 ppg. She has 45 steals so far in 18 games. She leads the team in assists.
- #0 5-8 Jr G Daisa Alexander averages 12.8 ppg. Like McKay, Alexander has 45 steals.
- #23 5-11 RS Jr Tr Crystal Primm sat out last season after transferring from Duke, where she played two seasons. After starting seven games as a freshman she came off the bench as a sophomore before transferring.
- #5 5-10 Sr G Emari Jones adds 9.8 ppg.