Khaalidah Miller saw something she hadn‚Äôt seen in a while after the Georgia women‚Äôs basketball game on Thursday night.
The Lady Bulldogs huddled at center court in Stegeman Coliseum following a 60-58 win over Arkansas.
‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt seen anyone smile that much since four or five games ago,‚Äù Miller said. ‚ÄúIt felt good to get that win.‚Äù
The victory snapped a four game losing streak and gave the Lady Bulldogs their first Southeastern Conference win of the season. But it came in dramatic fashion.
Georgia led as much as 14 in the game, but allowed Arkansas to come within one point in the final two minutes before the teams exchanged fouls and free throws, allowing Georgia to pull out the two-point win.
Shacobia Barbee, who came off the bench for Georgia and finished with 17 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists, hit five free throws in the final 1:46 to keep the Razorbacks (14-4, 1-4 SEC) at bay.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs a kid who can make plays on both ends of the floor,‚Äù Georgia coach Andy Landers said. ‚ÄúThere aren‚Äôt very many of those. There‚Äôs great defensive players, crafty offensive players, but those don‚Äôt usually come wrapped in the same box. She‚Äôs a playmaker.‚Äù
Though Georgia turned the ball over 21 times, they shot 44.4 percent from the field and hit 60.9 percent of their free throws, which came into play at the end as the teams went back and forth calling timeouts in the final minutes.
‚ÄúI just remember him consistently saying, ‚ÄòWe‚Äôre OK, we‚Äôre OK,‚Äô‚Äù Miller said of Landers in the closing minutes. ‚ÄúHe just kept trying to keep our heads in the right place so that we keep fighting and just keep running our offense the way we‚Äôre supposed to.‚Äù
Miller, along with Halle Washington, fouled out for Georgia and the team rolled up 22 total team fouls. Krista Donald chalked it up to physical basketball, both teams scrapping for an SEC win.
‚ÄúThat was a big game for both of us, so we had to push through it,‚Äù she said.
The Lady Bulldogs (13-5, 1-4 SEC) travel to Gainesville on Sunday to face Florida, trying to avoid another bump in the conference schedule. Miller said the team is starting to gel a bit more, though it still has some rough edges to clean up, like cutting back on turnovers and hitting more of its free throws.
‚ÄúI think we‚Äôre definitely starting to get that chemistry back,‚Äù Miller said. ‚ÄúIt gave us a big boost tonight.‚Äù