Georgia beats Mercer in season opener, 83-64

Sports
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MACON, Ga. — The University of Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team used a 60-percent shooting effort to defeat Mercer on the road, 83-64, Wednesday evening at Hawkins Arena. 

The Lady Bulldogs hit 32-of-53 from the field, marking their best shooting performance since 2009 against Kentucky. 

Sophomore forward Javyn Nicholson led her team with 15 points off a 5-of-7 shooting effort from the field. Senior guard Gabby Connally scored 14 points and needs just two more to reach 1,000 career points for her career. 

“First of all, I want to say that I am so grateful we got to play today,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “There were a lot of games cancelled, and our hearts go out to everyone during this time. 

“As far as the game, it was great to see us score in transition like that. We had a few more turnovers than we would have liked, but we will get that corrected. It was just a great effort from our team tonight.”

A pair of free-throws from Jenna Staiti followed by back-to-back buckets by Connally and Maya Caldwell helped the Lady Bulldogs jump out to a quick 7-0 lead. 

Georgia shot 63 percent, hitting 10-of-16 from the field in the opening quarter. Mercer stayed within striking distance thanks to its shooting from behind the arc. The Bears hit four 3-pointers through the first 15 minutes, but still trailed 36-20 with 4:58 remaining in the second period. 

While the Bears did most of their work behind the arc, Georgia went to work in the paint, scoring 24 points in the post through two quarters of play. Caldwell led all scorers in the first half with nine as her team went to the locker room up, 43-29. 

Mercer cut the score to 10 in the third quarter, but an 8-0 run extended the Lady Bulldogs’ advantage to 56-40 with 3:43 left in the period. 

Amoria Neal-Tysor kept Mercer in the game, knocking in nine points through the first 15 minutes of the second half, but still the Bears trailed 68-54. She led the Bears with 22 points for the night. 

Next up, Georgia faces Georgia Tech in Atlanta at 2 p.m. ET Sunday. That game will be aired on ACC Network. 

For more information on the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, follow the team on Instagram (@uga_wbb), Twitter (@UGA_WBB) and Facebook (Georgia Women’s Basketball).

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