UGA Women’s Basketball: Robinson-Engram Duo Highlights 78-65 Georgia Victory
ATHENS, Ga. – A pair of 21-point performances from the veteran frontcourt of junior Caliya Robinsonand senior Mackenzie Engram led the Georgia Lady Bulldogs to a 78-65 victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Robinson’s point total ties a season-high outing, while Engram’s mark sets a new season high. Robinson posted her third double-double of the season and 13th of her career with 21 points and a career-tying 12 rebounds. Along with draining three 3-pointers for the second time in her Georgia tenure, the Marietta native added five assists and five blocks, keeping her atop the Southeastern Conference with 56.
“First of all, let’s give Arkansas a lot of credit,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “We didn’t think it was going to be easy at all. I’m proud of our girls for being able to sustain the lead and not give it up, and get stops when they needed to and stretch the lead by scoring.”
Joining Engram and Robinson was freshman guard Gabby Connally, who set a new season-high in points with 13, shooting 7-of-8 from the charity line. Senior guard Haley Clark also posted a career-topping 10 rebounds.
“[Clark] does so much for our team. She’s the glue,” Taylor said. “She guards the best player every single night. She’s really the point guard, but she doesn’t have the ball in her hands. We don’t win any games if Haley Clark‘s not on our team.”
Robinson and Engram teamed up for 11 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 15 points in the first quarter. Engram drained the first two shots of the contest, both baseline jumpers, before Robison drilled a 3-pointer to make it 7-2 early.
Clark cleaned up the glass with five boards in the first period, and added three more in the second quarter to tie her career high of eight rebounds in the first half alone.
The Lady Bulldogs (15-2, 3-1) cruised in the second quarter to a 13-3 run that extended their lead to 18 by the 5:42 mark, on account of a 3-pointer by redshirt sophomore Taja Cole.
Arkansas (10-7, 1-3) answered with a 15-3 lead of their own to make the score 31-25 at the half, which marked the Razorbacks’ lowest first half score in conference play.
Engram started out the second half like the first: with the opening bucket, a bank shot which put her into double-digit scoring for the 13th game this season. Robinson joined her shortly thereafter with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie her career high and extend the Georgia lead to 43-33.
Though Arkansas cut the Lady Bulldogs’ advantage to 50-49 with two minutes left to play in the third period, Robinson and Engram each chipped in layups to make it 54-49 at the quarter’s end.
By that point, all of Georgia’s 54 points had come from the field. The Lady Bulldogs did not attempt a free throw until the 2:02 mark in the final frame, while Arkansas enjoyed a 16-23 clip at the charity stripe on the night. However, the Lady Bulldogs closed out with 10-12 shots from the line.
As the Razorbacks threatened to notch their first lead at 59-58, Robinson made a thunderous block to prevent the shot. Soon after, Engram snagged a steal for a lay-in to push the score to 61-58 ahead of the final media timeout.
After consecutive Robinson layups and a Connally 3-pointer, Georgia sealed the 78-65 final from the free throw line, including seven from Connally. The final Arkansas output also marked the team’s lowest of the season in conference play.
Next up, Georgia travels to College Station, Texas, to face No. 17 Texas A&M on Sunday, Jan. 14 at Reed Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with tipoff set for 3 p.m. ET.