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UGA, Tech both fall in Sunday matinees

It was a disappointing Sunday for two of the state’s womens college basketball teams as both Georgia and Georgia Tech dropped conference games Sunday afternoon to Texas A&M and Syracuse, respectively. Georgia continued the worst start in Southeastern Conference play in program history with its 58-44 loss to the Aggies at Stegeman Coliseum.

The Bulldogs (12-5), who fell to 0-4 in conference play, struggled mightily shooting the ball as the hosts made just 16-of-55 field goal attempts (29 percent), including a 1-of-15 performance from three-point range.

Shacobia Barbee came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, but no other Bulldogs player reached double figures and the rest of the team made just 10 combined field goals.

Meanwhile, A&M (13-4, 3-0), which moved to 3-0 all-time in the series, used a 17-4 run over an eight and half minute stretch in the first half to go up 31-17 at halftime. Barbee snapped an eight minute and 18-second stretch where Georgia went without a field goal, but her lay up at the 14:12 mark of the second only cut the deficit to 18 and the visitors from College Station, Texas led by as much as 23 points.

Courtney Walker led the Aggies with 16 points, Jordan Jones had a career-high 13 points and added seven assists and Achiri Ade pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds.

Georgia came into the week No. 25 in the Associated Press Top 25, but after losses to Missouri and Sunday’s set back were unranked when the new poll was released late Monday.

Tech’s first trip to Syracuse was an unsuccessful one as the Orange, led by the red-hot shooting of Brianna Butler, handed the Yellow Jackets a 76-70 defeat.

It was just the second meeting between the schools - Syracuse won in November, 2012 in the San Juan Shootout - and the first time Tech has played inside the Carrier Dome.

Tech (11-5, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost a nine-point first-half lead when the Orange’s 12-3 run tied the game at 34-34 thirty seconds into the second half. The visitors again went up by nine at 61-52 on Tyaunna Marshall’s lay up with nine minutes remaining in the game. But Syracuse (12-4), a first-year ACC school which picked up its first conference victory in three tries, closed the game on a 24-9 spurt as Butler had two of her seven 3-pointers and eight of her team-high 23 points down the stretch.

“I thought it was a battle for 40 minutes. I didn’t think we did a very good job of getting to Brianna Butler, finding one of the best 3-point shooters in the ACC,” Tech coach MaChelle Joseph told ramblinwreck.com. “I think she did a very good job stepping up for her team.”

Marshall led all scorers with 24 points, while Nariah Taylor added 13 points off the bench for the Yellow Jackets.

Both teams will host conference rivals Thursday as Georgia entertains Arkansas at 7:00 p.m., while Tech and Wake Forest get together at 7:00 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.