Georgia (9-4) vs. LSU (9-3)
Thursday, Jan. 3 | 7 p.m. ET| Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
TV: SEC Network + (Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty)
Radio: Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network - 960 AM in Athens (Jeff Dantzler)
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com
Lady Bulldogs Tip Off SEC Slate
» Georgia opens Southeastern Conference play this Thursday against the LSU Tigers inside Stegeman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty calling the action on SEC Network +.
Pair of Streaks to Watch
» Georgia has lost five-straight Southeastern Conference openers, with the last win coming against Missouri, 77-46, to begin the 2012-13 conference slate. During the current five-game span, four of those losses have come on the road.
On another note, the Lady Bulldogs are currently 8-0 at home this season. The last loss inside Stegeman Coliseum came against Duke in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Defense the Difference Again
» The Lady Bulldogs enter Thursday’s game sitting atop the SEC in several defensive categories. Georgia paces the conference in blocked shots with 7.1 per game and is ranked first nationally with 92 total blocks as a team. Georgia holds opponents to just 32.5 percent shooting from the field -- an average that ranks first in the conference and ninth nationally.
Cole Among Nation’s Leaders in Assists
» Redshirt-junior point guard Taja Cole enters the LSU contest following a near triple-double performance of 17 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds against Presbyterian. Cole leads the SEC in assists (7th nationally) with 6.7 per game and has totaled five or more assists in 11 of 13 matchups this year. Her 87 total dimes are 17 more than the next closest SEC player (Mimi Reid of Ole Miss - 70).
» LSU boasts a 9-3 overall record. The Tigers, who are led by head coach Nikki Fargas, grabbed their last win on Dec. 30 with an impressive 78-49 victory over previously ranked USF. LSU finished last year with a 19-10 record overall and 11-5 mark in SEC play. The Tigers also had an impressive record at home, going 7-1 in the 2017-18 season. LSU’s leading scorer this season is Ayana Mitchell, who is averaging 14.0 points per game to go along with a team-leading 9.8 rebounds per contest.
Series History vs. LSU
» Georgia holds a 25-21 all-time series record against LSU, with the Lady Bulldogs’ last game against the Tigers ending in a 71-60 loss in Baton Rouge. In its last home contest against LSU, Georgia defeated the Tigers, 70-65, in 2017. The Lady Bulldogs are 14-6 at home against LSU, while the Tigers hold an 11-7 series record in Baton Rouge.
LSU Connections - Graham, Taylor Have Tiger Ties
» A pair of Lady Bulldogs have connections to LSU. Head coach Joni Taylor was an assistant coach for the Tigers under Hall of Famer Van Chancellor during the 2010-11 season. On that team was current Georgia Director of Women’s basketball Administration Katherine Graham. Graham was a four-year letterwinner and a three-year starter at LSU from 2007-11. She was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and is one of only two players in LSU history to record a triple-double.
Not All About Defense - Lady Bulldogs Shooting Well As of Late
» Georgia comes into Thursday’s game following its best shooting performance of the season last Friday against Presbyterian. The Lady Bulldogs hit a season-best 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. It marked the second time in three games the Lady Bulldogs have hit over 50 percent of their shots after knocking in 53 percent against Lipscomb on Dec. 19.
Block Party for Staiti and Robinson
» Redshirt-sophomore Jenna Staiti and senior Caliya Robinson have formed a sizable inside advantage for the Lady Bulldogs. The two have been the catalysts for a Georgia team that ranks first nationally in blocked shots with 92. Robinson is the SEC’s active career blocks leader with 245 in her three and a half seasons, while Staiti ranks second in the league this year with 29 total blocks.
Georgia Continues Unselfish Play
» The Lady Bulldogs are currently second in the SEC in both total assists (219) and assists per game (16.8) as a team.
During head coach Joni Taylor’s now four-year tenure, Georgia has finished no worse than third when it comes to assists. In 2015-16, Georgia led the league in dimes, before finishing second in 2016-17 and third in 2017-18.
» With eight underclassmen and just four upperclassmen, the Lady Bulldogs are the youngest team in the Southeastern Conference. Six of Georgia’s freshmen and sophomores (minus Malury Bates and Que Morrison due to injury) are seeing valuable playing time and are each averaging right at or more than 10 minutes per game.
First Starts for Numerous Lady Bulldogs
» Georgia has used six players that had never started a game prior to this season in this year’s starting lineup rotation. Among those is sophomore guard Gabby Connally, who has started each of Georgia’s 13 games. The Lady Bulldogs’ three freshmen have all started at least one game this year, with Donnetta Johnson receiving the nod in the last two contests.
Connally’s Best Stretch
» For the first time in her career, sophomore guard Gabby Connally scored in double figures in five-straight games, including two 20-point efforts from Dec. 2-21. Connally averaged 15.8 points per game over that five-game span.
Georgia Has Led in All Four Losses
» In each of Georgia’s four losses this season, the Lady Bulldogs have led in the game. Against UCLA, Georgia built a 12-point advantage and led for over 30 minutes. Against Tech, the Lady Bulldogs led by five points, while they erased a 15-point deficit against Maryland to build a two-point advantage late in the second half. Against Villanova the Lady Bulldogs led by seven in the first quarter. In four losses, Georgia was outscored in the fourth quarter, 74-56.
Lady Bulldogs Add Top Prospects in 2019 Signing Class
» The initial signing period was a good one for the Lady Bulldogs as Georgia signed three players who are among some of the best in the nation. Currently, the Lady Bulldogs’ 2019 class ranks 14th overall by ESPNW.
Mitchellville, Maryland native and five-star guard Chloe Chapman was the first to ink with Georgia. Chapman is the No. 28 overall recruit and No. 7 point guard according to ESPNW. Later in the week, Georgia announced the signing of five-star forward Javyn Nicholson from Lawrenceville, Georgia. Nicholson is ranked No. 6 among the country’s top power forwards. Another Georgia native, Jordan Isaacs from Alpharetta, rounds out Georgia’s class. She is a five-star player according to Prospects Nation and No. 14 overall forward according to ESPNW