No. 10 Texas A&M rallies again but falls 54-51 to Georgia
Jan. 23, 2015
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Texas A&M had no reason to panic when trailing Georgia at halftime.
The No. 10 Aggies, who came from behind in each of their first four Southeastern Conference wins, charged again before falling short in the final seconds.
Courtney Walker scored 12 points and Courtney Williams had 11, including a jumper with 18 seconds remaining to pull the Aggies to within one, but No. 22 Georgia held on for a 54-51 win on Thursday night.
"I thought we were going to do it again," said Texas A&M coach Gary Blair of the comeback bid.
Jordan Jones, who had 11 points, missed a last-second 3-pointer for Texas A&M (16-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) that would have tied it.
Freshman Mackenzie Engram scored 16 points off the bench for Georgia (17-3, 5-2 SEC).
The Aggies trailed at halftime in each of their four SEC wins, and they staged another comeback after trailing 27-21 at halftime. Texas A&M took its last lead at 42-41.
Marjorie Butler had 11 points for Georgia, including two free throws with 9.7 seconds remaining.
Georgia coach Andy Landers praised the Lady Bulldogs' poise.
"We have a resolve about us," Landers said. "We come back and play very well. We stay the course."
Georgia won with its zone defense in a successful attempt to minimize Texas A&M's drives to the basket. The Aggies made only four of 16 3-pointers.
Landers said Butler's crucial free throws, her first of the game, were "gutty."
Georgia earned its first win in five tries all-time against the Aggies.
With Georgia leading 52-49, a missed jumper by Tiaria Griffin went out of bounds, giving the Aggies possession with 31 seconds remaining. The teams traded timeouts before Williams' jumper with 18 seconds remaining cut the Georgia lead to one point.
Butler's free throws padded the lead, forcing the Aggies to play for a 3-pointer on their final possession.
Texas A&M rallied from halftime deficits in its four SEC wins and six times overall this season. Their most impressive comeback came after trailing then-No. 8 Duke by 15 points with less than 12 minutes remaining.
Once again, Texas A&M had to play from behind against Georgia. Engram had eight first-half points as the Lady Bulldogs led 27-21 at the break.
Engram made each of her two 3-pointers in the half, but Georgia was most effective near the basket. The Lady Bulldogs took a 17-8 lead with an 8-0 run on four layups.
Texas A&M: Junior Chelsea Jennings, who did not play in the first half, had four points. She made two straight baskets early in the second half to help the Aggies' comeback. ... Williams entered the game tied with South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell for the SEC lead with her average of 16 points in league games.
Georgia: Texas A&M was the first of four straight Top 25 opponents on the Lady Bulldogs' schedule, including games at No. 5 Tennessee and No. 14 Kentucky and a home game against No. 1 South Carolina. ... With Sunday's win over Vanderbilt, Georgia already is guaranteed its 36th straight winning season, the third-longest streak in the nation.
Blair said he told Landers before the game to expect a low-scoring pace.
"I told Andy before the ballgame the first team to hit 50 wins," Blair said.
Shacobia Barbee, who leads Georgia with 12.4 points per game, was scoreless until she made one of two free throws with 10:49 remaining. Barbee finished with five points while making only one of eight shots from the field. She led Georgia with four assists and two steals.
Texas: A&M visits No. 1 South Carolina on Monday.
Georgia: plays at No. 5 Tennessee on Sunday.