Athens, GA. -- When the University of Georgia hosted Brigham Young University at home on Wednesday, the game was far from a cakewalk. However, the Lady Bulldogs would persevere and go home as the winners, 81-51.
The opening minutes were tough, as Georgia struggled to stifle BYU’s offense. The Cougars commanded the pace of the game -- fast, and every point contested.
“We have a bad habit of coming out and letting them hit us first,” said Georgia forward Mackenzie Engram.
The Cougars found holes in the Lady Bulldogs’ defense creating turnover after turnover -- when would it end? When Caliya Robinson linked up with Engram.
Georgia methodically chose when it would go for it, and it paid off, especially when the ball was in Engram’s hands.
“It was reminding them, ‘Hey, we’re doing a really good job on the first line of help, but remember they do a really good job at passing the ball across the lane. We need to have that second line of help,’” said Assistant Coach Karen Lange.
BYU’s biggest impact maker was Makenzi Pulsipher. All over the ball, Pulsipher lead her team on an offensive zeal, but it was Cassie Broadhead who led her team with 16 points on the game.
By the second quarter, the game seemed to belong to Robinson who was consistently stepping up, be it snatching rebounds or getting steals as Georgia gradually crept up on the Cougars. At the half, Georgia led BYU, 32-21.
The third quarter, BYU kept its fast pace, but Georgia answered with their offensive power much better than the first half. Halle Washington opened the half with four points in one minute to jumpstart the Lady Bulldogs. Georgia’s defense looked a lot bigger, too, like when Washington and Robinson linked up.
BYU just couldn’t find the right places to take shots, and Georgia kept catching them in foul situations. That was seen most clearly when Haley Clark snuck in a fast break layup, and drew a foul on the way down.
Every second was stretched, like when Stephanie Paul’s wide-open three-pointer at 8:18 in the fourth, or Brenna Chase’s two jumpers within 30 seconds. Every possession, Georgia seemed to score, making it impossible for the Cougars to catch them.
The Lady Bulldogs would go on to win behind the dominating play of Engram who ended the game with 21 points and five rebounds.
Georgia heads to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech Nov. 20, and BYU hosts Oklahoma on Nov. 19.