Athens, Georgia – If you looked at the field goal percentage between the University of Georgia and South Carolina State University, you would think the game was a fight to the finish. However, the score reflected anything but with Georgia finishing ahead, 64-50.
The Lady Bulldogs’ saving grace? Second chance points.
“Part of our identity that we want to make this year is for us to be a great rebounding and a great defensive team,” said Associate Coach Karen Lange. “So for us to go in and have 26 offensive rebounds is very, very good.”
In fact, the Lady Bulldogs had three players with career high rebounds.
Head coach Joni Taylor sat on the bench and let Lange take the lead after recently having a baby. But that by no means held Georgia back.
The team attacked the night with aggressive defense and strong offense to score 24 points off rebounds throughout the game.
Georgia’s Pachis Roberts put on an incredible performance with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
“It was very important [to set a strong tone to the season],” said Roberts. “We lost so many people last year that led us in so many things, so coming out and showing them that Georgia basketball is still here was very important to us.”
Mackenzie Engram came off missing last season’s final 15 games due to an upper respiratory infection to impressively contribute 15 points throughout the game.
“I’m proud of [my performance],” said Engram. “I’m glad to be back on the court. I’ve worked on my ball handling…and my positivity.”
Halle Washington pushed the team ahead with an additional 10 rebounds and provided the team with vital second-chance opportunities.
“We’re all equally important to the success of the team,” commented Roberts on the Lady Bulldog’s successful performance offensive and defensively.
Although, Bryesha Blair led South Carolina State to fight back tenaciously with 10 of the team’s 21 points in the first half and 11 points in the second half. However, Blair alone couldn’t match the aggression of Lady Dogs on the glass.
The second half began with a 9-0 run from South Carolina State in an attempt to make up for lost ground. But, Georgia quickly answered with eight unanswered points of their own.
“We have so many players that can shoot the ball in so many different ways,” said Lange, commenting on the Lady Bulldogs’ ability to finish the drill.
Fifty-three total rebounds catapulted the team ahead to score 10 fast-break points and 36 points from the paint.
The Georgia Lady Bulldogs hope to continue the momentum against Mercer, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET at home. South Carolina State University will face the Winthrop University Eagles Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET.