College Station, Texas - Texas A&M topped Georgia 75-73 in a thriller Sunday afternoon at Reed Arena, as freshman Janiah Barker led the Aggies to their first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
Georgia falls to 13-8 on the year and 2-5 in the SEC, while the Aggies are 6-12 and 1-7.
There were 13 ties and 11 lead changes with Texas A&M in front for 15:33 and Georgia on top for 15:27. The difference was sharp shooting from an Aggies squad that has struggled from the field this season. Coming into the game, the Aggies were shooting 35.7% from the field and 25.7% on three-point field goals. Against Georgia, A&M was 28 of 48 (58.3%) from the floor and 8 of 16 on triples.
The combination of efficiency from distance and the superb play of Barker was a lethal formula of success for the Aggies. Playing in her first game since November 30th due to a hand injury, Barker scored 24 points on 10 of 11 shooting (making her lone three and 3 of 6 free throws) in just over 20 minutes of action.
With Georgia trailing by four in the closing seconds, Alisha Lewis hit a three-point field goal to cut the Aggies lead to 74-73. Barker hit the first and missed the second, giving Georgia one last gasp to tie or potentially win, but Lewis’s triple from the right wing was short.
The Lady Dogs were 3 of 12 on threes. In SEC play this season, through seven games, the opposition has hit 55 triples compared to Georgia’s 15.
Thanks to outstanding work at the foul line, where Georgia hit 24 of 30 free throws, and a plus-10 count in the turnover column, the Lady Bulldogs were able to stay within striking distance.
But it was Barker who was the difference.
“She was outstanding,” said Georgia coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “Barker is a big-time player who had a tremendous game.”
The Lady Bulldogs return to the hardwood Thursday night against Missouri in Athens, with tipoff set for 7:00 from the Stegeman Coliseum.
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