GEORGIA LADY BULLDOGS
|GEORGIA (Natal Rank)||2022-23 STATISTICS||WISCONSIN (national rank)|
|72.4 (119)||POINTS PER GAME||71.6 (127)|
|50.2 (30)||HITTING DEFENSE||58.2 (87)|
|.448 (82)||FG PERCENT||.436 (107)|
|.333 (38)||FG PERCENT DEFENSE||.334 (41)|
|.304 (175)||3-PT. FG PERCENT||.327 (143)|
|.264 (267)||3-PT. FG PERCENT DEFENSE||.323 (236)|
|0.636 (276)||FREE THROW PERCENTAGE||.742 (82)|
|44.6 (42)||REBOUND AVERAGE||40.4 (119)|
|+22.2 (27)||REBOUND MARGIN||+5.8 (96)|
|16.8 (57)||SUPPORTS PER GAME||18.4 (28)|
|+4.4 (88)||SALES MARGIN||+1.4 (153)|
|10.4 (82)||STEAL PER GAME||9.8 (99)|
|3.2 (172)||BLOCKS PER GAME||5.6 (27)|
» Georgia faces the Wisconsin Badgers in the opening game of Paradise Jam 2022 on Thanksgiving Day at 1:00 p.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. AST from the Virgin Islands.
» This is only the third meeting ever between the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten and the Georgia Lady Bulldogs of the SEC. The series is tied 1-1, the last duel takes place in 1998.
» Georgia boast a 5-0 record after beating rivals Georgia Tech. This win improved the Lady Bulldogs’ all-time record against the Yellow Jackets to 37-8.
» This year’s 5-0 record marks the best start by a coach in his first year in Georgia’s history.
» Georgia will compete in the Virgin Islands for the first time in program history. This is the team’s 70th holiday tournament overall.
» Junior Guard/Forward Zoesha Smith comes from the best game of her career. She set new career highs in points (21), rebounds (10), and steals (4) against Georgia Tech. Smith, who hadn’t played more than 20 minutes in a single game prior to this season, also hit her first double-double of her career against the Yellow Jackets.
» Preseason All-SEC and Naismith National Player of the Year watchlist selections Diamond Battles leads the Lady Bulldogs this season. She leads the team in points (13.4), assists (18 total) and minutes played (32.7 per game).
» Fifth graders BrittneySmith only needs 17 points to reach 1,000 for her career. Smith has hit double digits in 11 of their last 13 games.
» Georgia ranks fourth in the SEC for both scoring defense (50.2 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (84 assists and 77 turnovers).
» Five of Georgia’s players have averaged at least one steal per game this season, led by Audrey Warrens 10 total steals (2.0 per game).
A bright spot for this year’s Georgia team was its balance and depth. The Lady Bulldogs had another player leading the team as the top scorer in four of five games. Ten or more players have scored at least a point in a single game twice so far this year.
UCF transfer and five-year senior BrittneySmith is on an impressive track. The Orlando, Fla. native has scored double digits in 14 of his last 19 games, including a career-best 26 points against Florida in the NCAA tournament. She also has a total of four double-doubles in this current 19-game streak. The 2022 American Athletic Conference sixth player of the year averaged 10.8 ppg and 6.0 rpg a season ago.
Roundtree named a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Georgian legend Saudia Roundtree was named one of 12 finalists for induction into the 2023 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The list of candidates will be announced on November 27th. Roundtree led Georgia to the 1995 and 1996 Final Fours and the ’96 SEC Championship. She was the 1996 National Player of the Year as well as the SEC Player of the Year. In 2013, she was inducted into the Georgia Circle of Honor. Georgia has four legends in the WBB Hall of Fame including Katrina McClain (2006), Andy Landers (2007), Teresa Edwards (2010) and Janet Harris (2015).
50th Season of Georgia Basketball
This marks the 50th season of Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball. This historic program ranks 15th all-time in terms of win ratio (0.694) and 16th in terms of total wins (1,043). Georgia ranks second nationally with 35 NCAA tournament appearances and is still one of only three programs to have a winning record in every season since 1981.
Coach ABE returns to lead Georgia
Katie Abrahamson Henderson was named the third full-time head coach in Georgia history on March 26, 2022. Coach ABE played for the Lady Bulldogs from 1986-1987 and was a member of the 1986 SEC championship-winning squad. Teammates Katrina McClain, Teresa Edwards, Lisa O’Connor and Carla Green, among others, helped lead Georgia to its third SEC title, with Coach ABE playing in all 32 games as a freshman.
Success at every stop
Coach ABE has established successful programs with coaching stints in Albany, Missouri State and UCF. Their teams have won an unprecedented 70 percent of their games, averaged 22 wins a year, and clinched 16 conference titles in 17 seasons. At UCF, the 2021-22 squad won a school-record 26 games, the AAC tournament crown and a No. 7 in the NCAA tournament en route to the American Athletic Conference Championship — the highest seeding in program history.
It’s a family
A major reason for the success of Coach ABE’s programs lies in their coaching staff – a group that has been with them almost every step of the way. Deputy Head Coach Tahnee Balerio played for Coach ABE at Missouri State, entering her 13th season on Coach ABE’s staff. assistant coach Isoken Uzamere is in her 11th year at Coach ABE while being the legendary former UConn All-American Nykesha Sales is in its seventh season. Former Albany standout Henry Harris Ebony is in its seventh year.
League-leading 10 newcomers
With five letter winners from last year’s team, the Lady Bulldogs had 10 roster spots to fill this past offseason. Georgia welcomed three players from UCF and also added a Texas transfer Audrey WarrenWest Virginia Transmission Kari Niblack and Vanderbilt transmission De’Mauri Flournoy. Four freshmen also joined the team, including Savannah Henderson, Stephanie Ingram, Fatima Diachate and Amiya Evans. The 10 newcomers to this year’s roster tie Kentucky the most in the SEC.
Georgia players find postseason success
Georgia’s five returns and six transfers have combined 23 NCAA tournament appearances. Diamond Battles, BrittneySmith and Alisha Lewis received three NCAA offers at UCF. Texas Wire Transfer Audrey Warren helped her team advance to the consecutive NCAA Elite Eights Kari Niblack led West Virginia to the second round of the 2020-21 NCAA tournament.
D Under the guidance of coach ABE, UCF have led the nation in repelling goals in each of the last two seasons. The Knights kept teams at just 47.8 points per game last year and just 50.5 ppg throughout the 2020-21 season. UCF held 18 opponents to 50 points or fewer, with seven failing to reach 40 points in the 2021-22 season.
Success against SEC
During Coach ABE’s six seasons in Orlando, UCF had recorded a 3-2 record against teams in the SEC. The Knights defeated Arkansas (52-51) and Florida (69-52) and narrowly lost to Tennessee (41-49) during last season’s remarkable run to the American Athletic Conference Championship. The win over Florida was the first NCAA tournament win in program history.
Diamond shines bright
Fifth year awake Diamond Battles developed into one of the best players in the nation during her time at UCF. She was the program’s inaugural AAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and was a consensus first-team pick at all conferences. A native of Winter Haven, Fla., he led UCF with 16 goals and 23 double-digit hits last year.
A big part of Georgia’s impressive recruiting record this past offseason was a household name for Coach ABE. Savannah Henderson is the daughter of the head coach Katie Abrahamson Henderson and her husband Michael. The Orlando, Fla. native was a national consensus top 50 player as the No. 41 ESPN player overall and the No. 10 wing recruit. She prepared in Timbercreek, Orlando, and played for Central Florida Elite.