Powered by a season-high 27 points from their senior center, the No. 12 Lady Bulldogs opened their SEC season by dismantling Mississippi State 88-70 in front of 1,612 fans in Stegeman Coliseum.
"Having things fall in place as we enter conference is a good
confidence-booster," Thomas said. "If we continue up from here,
no telling what we can do."
Georgia led 48-24 at halftime and kept the lead at more than 20 points
until the final minute of the game. The Lady Bulldogs put the game out
of reach early with a 20-0 run that ended with Georgia leading 26-7
halfway through the first half.
"As far as the first SEC game, I think it's a good statement to make,
but this is our place," Landers said. "I think a statement game
needs to come on the road."
Georgia (12-2 overall, 1-0 SEC) will get that chance Sunday when it
plays at Kentucky. Meanwhile, Mississippi State (5-8, 0-1) goes from
Georgia's frying pan to the fire of Thompson-Boling Arena to play No. 5
Tennessee on Sunday.
Thomas also tied her season high for rebounds with 15 despite playing
just 26 minutes. She left the court for the final time with 4:19
remaining and received a standing ovation from a large portion of the
crowd. Although she missed her career-high of 31 points, Thomas said she
had no problem sitting for extended minutes in the first and second
"I think that coach knows what he's doing," she said. "He
pulls us in
and out at the right time. I know what my career high is, but it's not
like I'm going for it every night."
Thomas hit seven of her first eight shots and had a double-double
before the game was 15 minutes old. She rebounded a missed shot and put
it back up with 5:39 left in the first half, extending Georgia's lead to
37-18 and giving her 18 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was just one of those nights where I was comfortable shooting,
I was open," she said.
Thanks to the imposing presence of the 6-foot-5 Thomas and 6-6 Kara
Braxton, Georgia outscored Mississippi State 42-26 in the paint. Four
Lady Bulldog starters finished the game in double figures, and the
fifth, point guard Alexis Kendrick, tied her career high in assists with
nine. Overall, Georgia had 27 assists.
"What that tells me is our kids are finishing plays," Landers
Lady Dawgs Dismantle Mississippi State
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