Lady Bulldogs Suffer 58-53 Setback to Alabama

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Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019
ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team fell to Alabama, 58-53, on Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum despite an impressive fourth-quarter comeback attempt.

With this loss, Georgia falls to a 3-4 record in the SEC and a 12-8 record overall.

Georgia went on a six-point run with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth to make it a two point game with the Crimson Tide leading, 55-53. However, Alabama obtained three additional points in the final 45 seconds to take the 58-53 victory.

Two Lady Bulldogs had double-digit scoring games. Senior Caliya Robinson finished the game with a double-double, scoring 13 points and tallying 10 boards, while sophomore Maya Caldwell cashed in a season-high 11 points.

“The second quarter is what really sticks out to me. We can't give up 21 points in a quarter. A lot of those were in transition, and so we didn't even have our defense set. That is where we got ourselves in a hole, and there is not a team in this league that you can give up 21 points to and expect to win a game. Credit to our ladies for fighting back, and to Alabama for running. They're physical. They're really good. The second quarter is what put us in the hole,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor.

Freshman guard Donnetta Johnson had a hand in Georgia’s first three baskets of the game. Johnson scored Georgia’s first two baskets before making an assist to junior Stephanie Paul, helping Georgia take the 6-2 lead. Though Alabama fought back, four-straight points at the free throw line from freshman Kaila Hubbard and sophomore Que Morrison took Georgia into the second period leading 12-9.

While a crucial 3-pointer by freshman guard Caitlin Hose gave Georgia the one point advantage over the Crimson Tide, Alabama surged to a 23-17 lead. Alabama would eventually extend the run, 12-2, grabbing the largest lead by either team in the first half (11). The Crimson Tide maintained the lead going into the locker room, the Lady Dogs trailing 30-21.

Coming out after the half, sophomore Gabby Connally provided a spark to the Georgia offense, scoring a fast-break layup off a steal. Alabama countered with a basket to regain the double-digit lead, but a score from Hubbard and a steal resulting in two made free-throws from Connally brought the Bulldogs within single digits of the Crimson Tide.

Georgia’s defense kept them in the game, as the Bulldogs forced the Crimson Tide to commit a season-high number of turnovers, 26. Sparked by the defensive stops and four straight free-throws, Georgia was able to cut Alabama’s lead to three with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide sank a three-pointer as the shot clock expired, extending their lead to eight. Six-straight points from Robinson cut Alabama’s lead to two, but Georgia was unable to overcome the deficit. Alabama sealed the 58-53 victory off free-throws.

The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The game will be televised on SECN+.