Lady Bulldogs Welcome North Florida for Noon Matchup

#21 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (7-1) vs. North Florida Ospreys (5-4)

Wednesday, Dec. 8 | noon ET | Athens, Ga. | Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

Watch: SEC Network + (Matt Stewart and Christy Thomaskutty)

Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network (Jeff Dantzler)

960 AM The Ref, WXKT 103.7 FM and the Georgia Bulldog App

Game Promotions

First 250 students will receive free food and can win prizes by checking into the Commit to the G App.

Lunch with the Lady Bulldogs - UGA Athletic Dept. staff are invited to cheer on the team for lunch. Staff receive a free ticket and concession stand voucher.

Opening Tip Storylines

» Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum to host the North Florida Ospreys at noon ET Wednesday. Fans can watch the action on SEC Network + or listen to the voice of the Lady Bulldogs, Jeff Dantzler, on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

» This is the second all-time meeting between these two programs. Georgia defeated North Florida 75-37 in Athens on Dec. 28, 2017.

» The Lady Bulldogs came in at No. 14 in the first NET rankings that were released this past Monday. Georgia is the third-highest ranked SEC team, coming in behind No. 1 South Carolina and No. 13 Tennessee. The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) replaced the RPI rankings as the primary way to evaluate teams for the NCAA tournament.

» Wednesday’s game is the final contest before Georgia takes an eight-day exam break. The Lady Bulldogs will travel to No. 2 NC State on Dec. 16.

» Graduate guard Que Morrison -- one of the top defensive players in the nation -- continues to step it up offensively. She has led Georgia in each of the last two games, totaling 35 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in matchups against Texas Tech and Georgia Tech.

» Morrison became the 42nd Lady Bulldog in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark with her basket in the third period against Georgia Tech.

» Georgia has held seven of eight opponents below 40 percent shooting from the field. The Lady Bulldogs rank second in the SEC in scoring defense (50.2 ppg) and third in turnovers forced (20.5 per game) this season.

» Texas Tech and Notre Dame are the only teams to score 60 or more points against the Lady Bulldogs this season. If you look back to last year, Georgia has held eight of its last 10 opponents below the 60-point mark.

» For the second-straight season, each of Georgia’s seniors have already earned their college degrees. Malury Bates (sociology), Mikayla Coombs (sport management), Morrison (communication studies) and Jenna Staiti (human development and family science) have all graduated from the University of Georgia.

Scouting the Opponent: North Florida

» North Florida is 5-4 this season and is in the final contest of a five-game road trip. The Ospreys started 4-1 this year -- its best start in program history (as a DI program). North  Florida was picked second in the Atlantic Sun preseason rankings. Jazz Bond leads North Florida with 19.9 points per game and leads an experienced roster that features just one true freshman.

Georgia Notebook

Daytona Sweep

» Georgia swept the Daytona Invitational and improved to 4-0 all-time in the event with wins against No. 24 Notre Dame and Marquette. A host of characters led Georgia as the Lady Bulldogs had 11 players contribute against Notre Dame and 13 versus Marquette.

Bulldog Block Party

» The Lady Bulldogs set a new school record with 18 blocks in the win against Alabama State on Nov. 21. That total broke a 34-year old record from 1987, when Georgia had 16 against Mercer. The Lady Bulldogs’ 18 swats are tied for the second-most in a game in SEC history.

Healthy Margins

» In addition to leading or being near the top of the SEC in nearly every defensive category, Georgia has allowed just one opponent (Texas Tech) to hit over 40 percent from the floor. The Lady Bulldogs have also forced 20 or more turnovers five times.

Double-Double Nicholson

» Junior forward Javyn Nicholson has already matched her career double-double mark with two this season. She scored 13 points and brought down a then career-best 12 rebounds in the season-opener against Gardner-Webb, marking her first double-double since 2019. She then scored 13 pts. and brought down a new career high 13 rebs. against Alabama State.

Georgia Inks Elite Signing Class

» Georgia’s 2022 Signing Class is ranked No. 7 nationally according to ESPN.  Janiah Barker and Sydney Bowles, two of the highest rated players in the nation, will join talented point guard product Tineya Hylton in Georgia’s incoming class.

Barker – who is considered the No.1-ranked forward nationally and among the top-3 players overall -- is a native of Marietta, Ga. She currently preps at Montverde Academy in Florida. Bowles – a consensus top-10 guard prospect -- is from Lithonia, Ga., and plays at Woodward Academy. They will begin their collegiate careers during the 2022-23 campaign.

Hylton prepped at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., before going back to Canada to play at Royal Crown Academic School in Toronto, Ontario. She will join the Lady Bulldogs this season.

Staiti Moves Into Top-5

» Jenna Staiti now ranks fifth in school history with 225 career blocks. Tawana McDonald owns the program record with 297 swats during her time at Georgia. Staiti is also the SEC’s active career leader in blocks.

Offensive Improvement

» Head Coach Joni Taylor and her staff implemented a new offensive philosophy prior to the 2020-21 season with the goal of playing a more up-tempo style with defensive pressure.

That move has paid dividends. Since last season, Georgia has scored over 90 points four times. The Lady Bulldogs scored over 90 points just four times combined in the five seasons prior.

Georgia Picked Fourth in SEC, No. 19  in National Poll

» SEC coaches voted the Lady Bulldogs fourth in the annual preseason poll, just behind South Carolina, Texas A&M and Tennessee. Georgia came in at No. 19 in the national preseason coaches poll. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs finished ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press top-25 -- its highest ranking going into the NCAA tournament since 2001.

Exceeding Expectations

» Coach Taylor’s teams have lived by the mantra ‘It’s not where you start but where you finish.’ In five of her first six seasons, the Lady Bulldogs have finished well ahead of their preseason ranking. The largest jumps came in 2017-18 -- when Georgia was picked eighth and finished second -- and last season -- when the team was picked ninth and finished fourth.

Georgia’s SEC Standings Under Joni Taylor

Season Preseason Rank          SEC Finish

2015-16            9th                               6th

2016-17            12th                              8th

2017-18            8th                               2nd (tied)

2018-19            4th                               7th

2019-20            10th                              9th

2020-21            9th                               4th

Staiti’s Streak Continues

» Jenna Staiti has become known as ‘Steady Staiti’ over the last two seasons -- and for good reason.

The Cumming, Ga., native has scored in double figures in 38 of her last 45 games with 14 double-doubles and nine 20-plus point efforts. It is a remarkable stat line for the All-SEC center, especially when you look back to her first two years of college basketball.

During her freshman and sophomore campaigns, Staiti averaged 4.4 ppg and 1.7 rpg  in 65 total games played. Staiti has now more than tripled her points per game average to 13.2 ppg and upped her rebounds to 7.3 per contest over the past three years.

Defense Travels

» Georgia has become one of the top defensive teams in the SEC during Coach Taylor’s tenure. In her six seasons leading the program, the Lady Bulldogs have finished either first or second in the conference in scoring defense on three occasions, including a league-best and school record 54.1 ppg in 2015-16. Last year, Georgia ranked second in the SEC, holding opponents to 60.5 ppg. The team also finished top-5 in most defensive categories, including field-goal percentage defense, 3-point field-goal percentage defense and turnovers forced.

Not Just Defense For Morrison

» Que Morrison is known as one of the top defenders in the nation as she routinely guards the opponent’s top player night-in and night-out. Last year, Morrison led all players in conference play with 33 steals (2.2 per game).

The Riverdale, Ga., native has also stepped it up offensively. She has now scored in double figures in 18 of her last 21 games dating back to last season.

A Healthy Dose of Que

» After suffering a string of injuries in her career, Morrison finally experienced a full healthy season for the Lady Bulldogs.

Here is a look back at some of the adversity Morrison has overcome.

The defensive stopper placed on the SEC All-Freshman Team after drawing 32 starts on Georgia’s NCAA tournament team.  Then, in her sophomore campaign, Morrison missed the first eight games due to a torn meniscus in her left knee. In 2019-20, she had an injury to her foot before the year began. She then suffered a torn labrum in her right shoulder to end her junior campaign midway through SEC play.

Coombs Takes on Leadership Roles

» Mikayla Coombs — a native of Buford, Ga. — was selected by her peers to serve as the vice chair of the SEC Women’s Basketball Leadership Council. As one of four elected officers, she will participate in various meetings throughout the year to provide feedback to Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators and Faculty Athletics Representatives.

This news came after she was chosen as the only student-athlete representative on the NCAA competition committee.  Coombs graduated with a degree in sport management from the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing a master’s in the same program. She was named a UGA Presidential Scholar in 2020, has placed on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times and made the Dean’s List in 2021.

Coaching Consistency

» Georgia has one of the longest tenured staffs in the SEC. With the return of Karen Lange, Chelsea Newton and Robert Mosley, Georgia is the only team in the conference to not have a single coaching change at any level -- head coach or assistant coach -- over the past six years.

Chapman Sticks with Basketball

» Junior guard Chloe Chapman played two seasons with the Georgia soccer team, but after spending two years as a dual-sport athlete, she will now focus on just basketball. The Mitchellville, Md., native was a consensus top-40 prospect and was rated as the No. 8 overall point guard in the nation coming out of high school.

Georgia Freshmen Already Making History

» Lady Bulldog freshmen Reigan Richardson and Jillian Hollingshead were both named McDonald’s All-Americans, marking the first time in Georgia history the program has signed two McDonald’s All-Americans in one class. Hollingshead and Richardson are the 11th and 12th McDonald’s All-Americans to sign with the Lady Bulldogs and are the first to commit right out high school since Ronika Ransford in 2010. Current Lady Bulldog Mikayla Coombs was a McDonald’s All-American in 2017.

Isaacs Brings Experience

» Georgia junior forward Jordan Isaacs was the only non-senior to start every game for the Lady Bulldogs last season. Isaacs made big play after big play and stepped up defensively to lead her team. She made perhaps two of the most important plays of the year for the Lady Bulldogs. One was her block on Rennia Davis’ shot attempt that sealed the win against Tennessee, while the other came against Arkansas when she brought down an offensive board to set up Gabby Connally’s buzzer-beater.

A Storied History

» Georgia is one of just two SEC programs (Tennessee) and one of just 16 teams nationwide to reach the 1,000 win total. The Lady Bulldogs accomplished the feat last season on the road at East Carolina, marking the latest impressive accomplishment for the storied program.

The Lady Bulldogs are one of only three teams, joining Wisconsin-Green Bay and Tennessee, to have a winning record every year since 1980 and have been to 34 of 39 NCAA tournaments.





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