ATHENS, Ga. — Gabby Connally scored 24 points, Jordan Isaacs blocked a last-second shot and No. 22 Georgia defeated No. 21 Tennessee 57-55 in Southeastern Conference women's basketball Sunday afternoon for its first season sweep of the border rivalry series in 36 years.
A missed free throw by Connally with 22.1 seconds to go and alternating turnovers gave the visiting Lady Volunteers a last chance with 10.2 seconds left. Top scorer Rennia Davis got the ball in the backcourt, worked to the left wing and put up a 3-point attempt that Isaacs got her fingers on for the Lady Bulldogs' 12th block of the game, a season high.
Coupled with a 17-point comeback to win 67-66 on Jan. 14 — their first victory in Knoxville in 25 seasons — the Lady Dogs swept Tennessee for the first time since the 1984-85 season.
Que Morrison added 11 points for Georgia (17-4, 9-4), which moved into a tie for third in the loss column with Tennessee in the SEC standings as the regular season nears its conclusion. Jenna Staiti had 12 rebounds and six blocks, and Connally had five steals.
"We knew they were going to make a run because they are really talented, and everybody was diving on the floors for those balls — it was emotional," Lady Dogs coach Joni Taylor said, according to a Georgia release. "That's just Georgia-Tennessee, but even more so I would say today because of where we are in the standings, and we are down to the wire. We want to play well going into the tournament, and that is what showed itself for 40 minutes. It was a fun game to be a part of."
Davis scored 22 points for the Lady Vols (13-6, 7-4), who played their fourth straight game against a ranked opponent. They lost three on the road but beat No. 2 South Carolina on Thursday in Knoxville. All six of Tennessee's losses this season have come against teams that were ranked at the time or are now. Rae Burrell added 10 points, Kasiyahna Kushkituah 13 rebounds and Tamari Key nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks at Georgia.
"Georgia's game plan today was really solid. Took us out of sync completely offensively," Tennesee coach Kellie Harper said during her postgame news conference. " In terms of our team, just disappointed in the mistakes that we had and lack of focus."
Tennessee shot 12.9% in the first half, making just four of 31 attempts from the field, and trailed 27-19 at intermission. Both teams scored 20 points in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Davis, the first for Tennessee, cut the deficit to 47-46 with 7:35 to play in the game, but Connally answered with her own make from outside the arc, and the game stayed close. The only lead for Tennessee was on the opening basket.
The Lady Vols shot 28.8% overall, going 2-of-13 from 3-point range. Georgia shot only 33.3%, and the Lady Dogs — the SEC's best this season at the foul line — were just 7-of-18 on free throws, with seven players missing at least one.
Tennessee returns to competition at Missouri on Thursday, when No. 17 Kentucky visits Georgia.