Lady Dogs Advance; Take on UT

LITTLE ROCK - Tiaria Griffin scored 21 points and Krista Donald grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Georgia Lady Bulldogs to a gutty 75-64 SEC Tournament win over Missouri on Thursday.

Georgia (19-11) will now face Tennessee in the tournament quarterfinals at Verizon arena on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Donald also scored 13 points, while Erika Ford added 14 and Mackenzie Engram chipped in 11.

Georgia used an early 10-0 run to grab a 13-7 lead and withstood several rallies by the Tigers. The Lady Bulldogs never relinquished the lead the rest of the way, even though Missouri made it a one-possession game six times in the second half.

"I said it early in the year, this group has some resolve about them, even in the games we've lost," head coach Andy Landers said. "I think that we've learned some lessons throughout the year about hurting ourselves and how not to and how to make plays and escape what have been treacherous situations."

The Lady Bulldogs controlled the scoreboard much of the day.

Missouri jumped out to a 7-3 lead less than three minutes into the game. A Griffin 3-pointer with 16:08 on the clock pulled Georgia within a point and opened up the 10-0 run that covered 4:44. Griffin's shot pushed her past Alexis Kendrick into the No. 10 position among the Lady Bulldogs' career leaders for 3-pointers made with 145.

The Lady Bulldogs pushed their advantage to double digits at 25-14 with 5:38 left in the half before the Tigers chipped away to close that gap to 32-27 at the intermission.

Georgia started the second half quickly and regained a 38-29 edge, leading to a Missouri timeout at the 17:56 mark.

The Tigers then embarked on a an 8-2 run to pull within 40-39 with 13:30 remaining. A pair of Erika Ford free throws followed by a Donald tip-in pushed the margin back to five at 44-39.

Missouri made it a one-possession game again at 44-41, 46-44 and 56-54. A Morgan Stock 3-pointer rimmed out with 4:07 left and Griffin and Ford jumpers quickly gave the Lady Bulldogs breathing room at 60-54.

Down the stretch, Georgia made 12 straight free throws, a large chunk of the Lady Bulldogs' 26-of-29 effort from the line. The Lady Bulldogs lead grew to 74-62, the largest of t;he night, icing the game with 34 seconds remaining.

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