Lady Bulldogs continue home win streak

Georgia picked up its 17th consecutive win at home, beating Vanderbilt 64-53

With 10 seconds left on the clock and Georgia on its way to yet another home win, Shacobia Barbee high-fived Merritt Hempe at mid-court.

A few seconds later, Barbee grabbed the final rebound of the Lady Bulldogs’ 64-53 victory over Vanderbilt. With that, Barbee’s 11th career double-double went in the books along with a team-high 14 points — all of which came in the second half.

“Good players find a way to get in the flow of the game and find their mojo,” said senior forward Krista Donald, who chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds. “I commend her for stepping up like she’s always doing and staying consistent.”

Barbee, who didn’t get the start against Vanderbilt due to her performance at Ole Miss, did a lot of things that should get her back into her starting position.

“She played really well,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Andy Landers said. “She rebounded the ball. She made plays on the offensive end. She dropped the threes. She did a lot of good things.”

Barbee leads the team in points per game and steals this season, so a game like Sunday’s was hardly out of the ordinary. But despite having most rebounds out of any player Sunday and a team-high in points, Barbee only talked of areas for improvement as she looked at her final stats.

“I didn’t know I had three turnovers. That’s pretty terrible,” Barbee said. “I only had one assist. I could’ve been better.”

Despite a close-scoring, shaky first half, the Lady Bulldogs overall had a “cohesive” day, Donald pointed out. Georgia’s defense against Vanderbilt’s challenging rotation and balanced offense — which features players scoring in the double digits — showed the hosts had the ability to shake off a tough loss.

“We just played wild offensively (in the fist half),” Landers said. “I’d love to start strong, stay strong, finish strong.”

The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Commodores 37-29 in the second half to claim their 17th consecutive victory at Stegeman Coliseum. Veteran players like Barbee and Hempe pride themselves in their ability to win at home.

“Cobi says all the time, and we all say it before the game, ‘Protect our house,’” Hempe said. “Coach has said before, ‘This is our house. We’re not going to let anyone come in here and beat us.”

Georgia can extend that streak to 18 games Thursday when it hosts Texas A&M.

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