There was a sense of relief in the way Georgia post Angel Robinson exhaled, following her team's 49-46 overtime victory over No. 19 LSU on Thursday, snapping a three-game losing streak.
With the offense scoring a season-low 42 points in regulation, it could easily have gone the other way. It's only the second time in coach Andy Landers‘ 987 games at Georgia that his team has won a game in which it scored fewer than 50 points.
As has happened so often this season for the Lady Bulldogs, defense carried the day.
After allowing 60 or more points in seven of the previous eight games, No. 14 Georgia (19-4, 6-4 SEC) emphatically reversed that trend. And after five of the previous six opponents shot better than 41 percent, the Tigers shot 27.3 percent -- the third-lowest field-goal percentage for a Lady Bulldogs opponent this season.
Robinson said the defensive performance is a sign that the team is headed in the right direction.
"It's taking one step; we're not completely back where we want it," Robinson said. "I'm glad we took one step. On Sunday [against South Carolina], we need to take another step."
On Monday, Georgia Tech forward Brigitte Ardossi was named the ACC Player of the Week for her performance the previous week, when she averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds in home wins over Miami and Virginia Tech. She's the first Yellow Jacket to earn this distinction since Chioma Nnamaka in February 2008.
Ardossi entered the season as a relatively unheralded player in the conference but has been Georgia Tech's most consistent post presence and is playing her way into consideration for All-ACC honors.
In ACC play for the Yellow Jackets (18-5, 4-3 ACC), Ardossi entered Friday second in the league in scoring (18.9 points) and tied for first in rebounds per game (8.9). She also was eighth in free-throw percentage, leading the team at 83.6 percent.
Georgia State took two more losses this week, along with more blizzard conditions on a road trip through Virginia, making for another challenging trip back to Atlanta.
A 53-39 loss at Virginia Commonwealth and a 61-53 loss to Northeastern at home leaves the Panthers at 12-9 and 3-7 in Colonial Athletic Association play this season. That's four losses in five games and seven out of nine since a win over UNC Wilmington on Jan. 3 moved the Panthers' record to 10-2.
The bright point in the loss to Northeastern was Danyiell McKeller, who had career-highs in points (27) and steals (6). The senior is fourth in the CAA in scoring with a 19.3-point average and fourth in steals with 2.5 per game.