Lady Bulldogs drop third straight SEC contest

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri outscored Georgia 16-5 over the final 8:16 en route to a 66-56 upset of the No. 25-ranked Lady Bulldogs at Mizzou Arena on Thursday night.

The Lady Bulldogs led for the first 27 minutes until a Morgan Eye 3-pointer gave the Tigers their first advantage at 45-44. The lead changed hands five times over the next 2:56 before a Kayla McDowell 3-pointer put Missouri up 53-51 and opened the Tigers’ decisive surge.

Khaalidah Miller scored 12 points to lead Georgia (12-4, 0-3 SEC), while Krista Donald added 11. Shacobia Barbee grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

Bri Kulas paced Missouri (13-3, 2-1 SEC) with a double of 24 points and 13 boards.

“Missouri did what Missouri does,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said in a release. “They hit some open 3s. What they really don’t do is drive the ball a lot, certainly not as much as they did on us tonight. We were very vulnerable to the drive, which is disappointing. We knew that was an option they would use if we took the 3 away, and we really did for a good part of the game.”

After holding the Tigers to just three 3-pointers in the first half, five of Missouri’s second-half field goals came from behind the arc.

Georgia grabbed a quick lead and maintained a relatively comfortable edge for the first 27 minutes. Miller opened the scoring with a 3-pointer 57 seconds in and back-to-back buckets by Donald gave the Lady Bulldogs a 7-2 lead with less than two minutes off the clock.

Midway through the period, a quick 7-0 surge covering just 57 seconds put Georgia up 21-11 at the 9:58 mark. Barbee started and finished the run with a pair of baskets and Tiaria Griffin added a long 3-pointer sandwiched between.

The Lady Bulldogs maintained a two-possession edge most of the remainder of the half and led 35-29 following a Merritt Hempe jumper. Lindsey Cunningham scored consecutive field goals in the final 49 seconds to close the gap to 35-33 at the intermission, the closest the Tigers had been since the score was 8-6.

Georgia regained a six-point lead early in the second half before the Tigers scored 12 of the next 17 points, culminating with Eye’s 3 with 13:02 left

Georgia falls to 0-3 in the SEC for the first time ever. The Lady Bulldogs had opened league play 0-2 on one other occasion in 1992-93.

“We have to want to get better,” Landers said. “We have to want to get better. We have to want to prepare for games better than we’ve prepared for games. It’s pretty simple.”

Georgia will return to action on Sunday when the Lady Bulldogs host Texas A&M at Stegeman Coliseum at 2 p.m. Two promotions will be held in conjunction in the match-up against the Aggies.

The Lady Bulldogs will again host its Girl Power days for local youth. UGA student-athletes will speak to attendees about leadership, succeeding in school, being a good friend and how to deal with bullying. In addition, Athens Regional Medical Center will provide staff to discuss healthy habits. The Jan. 12 date will serve as the community Girl Power Day, while the Feb. 9 session is specifically for Girl Scouts. To pre-register, contact Jolie Helton at jhelton@sports.uga.edu. Registration and check-in both days will begin at 12 p.m. in the women’s basketball practice gym, with the program to begin at 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served at 1:15 and attendees will then head to watch the game.

In addition, selected honor roll students from Clarke, Oconee and Jackson Counties received vouchers good for four free tickets for their students and families to use. Vouchers must be redeemed at Coliseum ticket windows on Sunday.

Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Bulldog games are $5 for adults and $3 for children.

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