Nicholson, Smith pull double duty to pace Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. - Thanks to a terrific defensive performance, the University of Georgia women's basketball team topped the Alabama State Hornets 77-47 Thursday evening before 1,778 spectators at Stegeman Coliseum.
Senior Javyn Nicholson and Fifth-year Brittney Smith led Georgia (2-0, 0-0 SEC) with a pair of double-doubles. Nicholson posted 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, with 14 rebounds, while Smith notched 18 points on 9-for-18 shooting and 10 boards.
Fifth-year seniors Diamond Battles and Malury Bates rounded out Bulldogs scorers in double figures - Battles tallied 15 points and Bates with 13.
For the game, the Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the field while holding the Hornets to just 35.2 percent shooting.
"We really challenged our post players in the last two days," said Georgia head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson following the game. "They should be getting doubles-doubles. They are really good. (Jordan Issacs) wasn't here, she had the flu, so those three (Bates, Nicholson and Smith) had to stay in the game... We knew they (Alabama State) were going to be undersized, so we worked on the high-low game, obviously, it worked. We've been talking to them about crashing the boards and getting offensive rebounds."
In a defensive battle to open the game, the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead thanks to a pair of jump shots from Battles and a corner three by Audrey Warren before the Alabama State Hornets (0-2, 0-0 SWAC) made a basket. Georgia continued to press and play a fast-paced game, going on a 10-3 run over the next four minutes of play. The Bulldogs took a 23-5 lead into the second quarter.
Battles continued her sharpshooting effort, with a deep three-pointer to extend the Georgia lead to 21. The two squads began to trade baskets before the Bulldogs took a 34-14 lead into the media timeout. Coming out of the break, the UGA and ASU continued to play a back-and-forth game before the Hornet use a 5-0 run to end the half. The Bulldogs took a 39-23 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of the half, Georgia quickly extended its lead thanks to a layup and free throw by Nicholson. The teams continued to play a defensive battle before the Bulldogs took 19 point lead into the media break. Georgia used a pair of 4-0 runs to build its lead up to 25 before entering the fourth quarter up 58-35.
ASU opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to cut the Georgia lead to 19, however, the Bulldogs responded with a 6-0 run of their own, thanks to a pair of jumpers by Smith and a pair of free throws by Battles to grow the margin back to 25. UGA continued to execute well on the defensive side of the court and went on to win 77-47.
Georgia returns to action on Sunday, November 13 when they host Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed on the SEC Network+.