UGA women's basketball off to worst SEC start in program history

ATHENS — A combination of missed shots and fouls doomed 25th-ranked Georgia in a 58-44 loss at the hands of Texas A&M on Sunday.

The Bulldogs fall to 12-5 on the season and 0-4 in the SEC, marking their worst start to conference play in program history.

“Nobody wants to be 0-4 but you have to fight the fight and believe that if you do that, good things will happen," UGA women's head coach Andy Landers said. "I think top to bottom this conference is extremely competitive and has teams with very good athleticism and teams that are very well-coached. It’s impressive what Texas A&M brought to this league, a lot of athleticism and size and we really haven’t had a lot of that and haven't had it consistently but I think it’s something Texas A&M will be noted for.”

Shacobia Barbee led the Bulldogs in the scoring column with 16 points, which was tied for game-high with the Aggies’ Courtney Walker. Khaalidah Miller grabbed a team high eight rebounds while Barbee, Marjorie Butler, Krista Donald and Halle Washington collected five boards each. Despite this, Texas A&M outrebounded Georgia 50-35.

Both teams’ strong defenses immediately started taking effect in the first five minutes, as only 10 combined points were registered in that time span with A&M holding a slim six to four advantage following a Jordan Jones layup. The Bulldog defense was highlighted by forcing two A&M turnovers on the Aggies’ first five possessions.

While continuing to play impressive defensive basketball, Georgia committed several costly turnovers that resulted in eight fast break points for the Aggies. The turnovers, combined with a 28 percent shooting percentage in the first half for the Bulldogs, allowed the visitors to build a sizable 31-17 lead at the half.

Georgia’s scoring was increasingly hindered by its struggles at the free-throw line with the Lady Bulldogs going just 3-of-11 in the first half.

Barbee led Georgia in points and rebounds in the first half as the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native notched six points and grabbed four rebounds. Seven of the nine Bulldogs to play in the first half appeared in the scoring column.

The Bulldogs' struggles from the floor continued in the second half with the home team going 0-for-7 to start the half before Halle Washington scored Georgia’s first points of the half at the 14:24 mark.

Despite the best efforts of both Barbee and Donald, who scored 10 and eight points respectively, Georgia wasn’t able to trim the deficit to less than 13 points as fouls continued to send Texas A&M to the charity stripe for easy points.

Barbee’s 10 points led Georgia in scoring in the second half, while Miller paced the Bulldogs on the boards with six. The Lady Bulldogs’ shooting struggles continued through the second stanza as they hit on just 30 percent of shots in the half.

Georgia returns to action Thursday evening as Arkansas travels to Stegeman Coliseum. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off and will be broadcast live on CSS.