ATHENS — A balanced scoring effort from 10 different Lady Bulldogs led the 18th-ranked Georgia basketball team past the Vanderbilt Commodores, 67-55, Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
With its second win against Vanderbilt this season, Georgia improves to 21-3 on the year and 9-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
“We talked a lot about movement,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “We didn’t think that they would handle movement very well so we needed to keep cutting and moving. I was pleased with how we ran it forward, our pace, and our overall offensive performance.”
Three Lady Bulldogs supplied double-digit scoring efforts: redshirt sophomore guard Taja Cole (11), senior forward Mackenzie Engram (11) and freshman guard Que Morrison (10). Engram was honored before the game for reaching the 1,000-point milestone during the second quarter of the LSU game, becoming one of just 38 Lady Bulldogs on the all-time list.
Alongside Engram was Cole, who also scored 11 points, while adding a team-leading seven assists and a career-high five steals. The redshirt sophomore bested her average of 4.6 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference.
To open, Georgia pushed the ball against the Vanderbilt zone defense, jumping out to an 8-2 lead by scoring in transition. Engram spurred the team to a 21-12 lead after the first period with six points.
The Commodores cut the Georgia lead to 27-22 at the 4:53 mark, but the Lady Bulldogs surged back with a 9-0 run on account of a firm defensive stand towards a 36-22 lead. Vanderbilt’s Chelsie Hall made a 25-footer to close out the half at 36-25. Eight players scored for Georgia in the half, aided by five assists and three steals from Cole.
Cole continued to pace the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter. With her fifth steal at the 2:10 mark, she set a new career high. The Richmond, Virginia, native led the frame with six points, two assists and two steals in the period, helping Georgia to a 53-37 lead ahead of the final quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the final quarter with an 8-2 run, fueled by freshmen guards Gabby Connally and Maya Caldwell and senior guard Simone Costa. Georgia contained the Vanderbilt attempts in the remaining minutes, sealing the final at 67-55.
Next up, Georgia travels to Knoxville to take on the No. 11-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network with tipoff set for 3 p.m.