It’s a movie we’ve seen before. A closely contested first half and Tennessee pulling away in the second. It was no fun…but I didn’t pick up on any reasons to panic if you’re a Fastbreaker. Facts are facts: Tennessee…with or without Pat Summitt on the sidelines…is a very, very tough team. And Knoxville is a very, very tough place to try and win. The personnel is in place at Georgia to correct some things and to be ready for the next time. This is a mentally tough team. There’s a veteran core. And there are some extraordinary rookies. If you’re a Fastbreaker, you’ve probably met and taken the personal measure of Marjorie Butler. Do you think she’s going to “turtle-up” after a loss to Tennessee? Do you think Shacobia Barbee had her confidence shattered? Me, neither. If Georgia runs into Tennessee again down the road at the SEC Tournament, they’ll get after those Lady Vols like nobody’s business. Count on it. Here’s the official Georgia/Tennessee game recap, courtesy of Georgiadogs.com:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 12 Tennessee utilized three separate 9-0 runs in the second half to erase a halftime deficit and defeat No. 10 Georgia, 79-66, on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Jasmine James equaled her season high with 18 points, Khaalidah Miller added 14 and Tiaria Griffin chipped in 11 for Georgia (13-2, 1-1 SEC). Bashaara Graves paced Tennessee (11-3, 2-0 SEC) with a career-high 23 points on 8-of-11 and 7-of-7 shooting from the floor and free throw line, respectively.
Georgia led for the majority of the first half and owned a 42-40 advantage at the intermission. Tennessee scored the first nine points of the second stanza as the Lady Bulldogs missed their first eight shots from the floor.
"I thought both teams played reasonably well in the first half offensively despite what the other team was trying to do to affect that," head coach Andy Landers said. "At the half, we thought there were several things we could still do a little bit better. We talked about that, with an emphasis on the first five minutes, but you wouldn’t know it. We ran a couple of offensive sets and got layups and missed both of them."
James scored eight straight points as Georgia closed the gap to 52-50 at the 12:37 mark, but Kamiko Williams short jumper in the lane opened a 12-3 surge that put Tennessee up 66-53 just 3:44 later.
After five ties and six lead changes early on, Georgia went up 12-11 on an Erika Ford layup and the Lady Bulldogs stayed on top for most of the remainder of the period. Georgia’s lead maxed out at six points six different times, lastly at 37-31 with 3:51 remaining.
The Lady Volunteers outscored Georgia 9-2 over the next 2:50 and regained a 40-39 lead on a pair of Graves free throws. Miller responded with a three from the left corner 36 seconds later to supply the Lady Bulldogs with a 42-40 halftime lead.
Meighan Simmons nailed a three to open the second-half scoring to put Tennessee up for good.
After leading the rebounding count by two in the first half, Georgia was outboarded 28-9 in the second. Tennessee outscored the Lady Bulldogs 38-22 in the paint.
Georgia will return to action on Thursday when the Lady Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama. Tip off is slated for 9 p.m. ET, and the contest will be televised regionally on CSS.
We’ll have a Georgia/Alabama preview posted right here Tuesday night.