After last year’s postseason berth, this was a critical year for Joni Crenshaw’s Lady Bulldogs. It’s one thing to have a solid year. It’s another, however, to show that one season was not an aberration.
If Sunday afternoon showed one thing, it was that this program is settling in as a contender in the top rung of the SEC as Georgia rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to top Tennessee, 66-62.
To say that the Lady Hoop Hounds came out firing in the second half is and understatement. 25 points in the frame along moved Georgia to the lead, an advantage that it never gave up. Taja Cole, part of a balanced effort on Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum, scored nine points in the third alone. The performance in the third was equally strong on the defensive end with Georgia hold UT scoreless for the second half’s first four minutes.
All told, for Lady Bulldogs score in double digits, led by Caliya Robin’s 16 points and six blocks. Cole and Jenna Staiti had 12 points each. For Staiti, her hot streak continues as she has scored in double figures in five of the past six contests.
While Georgia is now 12-5 overall and 3-1 in SEC, Tennessee (12-4, 1-3), which entered the week ranked 13th, has lost three in a row in the SEC for the first time in program history. Needless to say...Candace Parker is not walking through that door for the Lady Vols.
Even if it’s not a win over a Pat Summitt-era Tennessee team by an Andy Landers team, any win over the program like Tennessee offers the statement that last year was not a one-hit wonder for Georgia’s program, especially when considering the Lady Dawgs took No. 6 Mississippi State to the wire on the road earlier this week.
With this win, Georgia improves to 3-1 in the SEC and 12-5 overall, while Tennessee drops to 12-4 and 1-3 in the SEC. Tennessee’s loss to Georgia marks its third-straight SEC loss this season.
The path gets no easier for Georgia, as up next is a road trip Thursday to No. 2 Mizzou.
Go Lady Dawgs!