Jan 13, 2002
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Despite a season-high 25 points from Christi Thomas, shooting 54.0 percent from the floor and out-rebouding their opposition, the No. 8-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs fell to Mississippi State on Sunday, 84-82.
State's LaToya Thomas scored 43 points, the most ever by a Georgia opponent, including 14 from the free throw line, to help secure the upset.
The Lady Bulldogs lost for only the fifth time in Andy Landers' 23 seasons at UGA when they scored 81 or more points. Georgia is now 333-5 in such outings.
Ebony Felder chipped in 16 points for Georgia, while Kara Braxton and Mary Beth Lycett each added 14.
Christi Thomas poured in 10 of the Lady Bulldogs first 18 points and helped Georgia garner a 29-21 lead early; however, State rallied with an 11-0 run to grab a 32-29 advantage.
Georgia regained a four-point edge late in the first half before LaToya Thomas rattled home a buzzer-beating three to close the gap to 45-44 at the intermission.
A nip-and-tuck second half saw nine lead changes and 10 ties before Mississippi State pulled out the victory.
LaToya Thomas scored 25 points in the stanza, including a jumper with 5:15 remaining to give MSU its largest lead at 78-71.
Consecutive buckets by Christi Thomas and Braxton cut the lead to three points, and Felder eventually knotted the score at 80-80 with 2:15 left on an old-fashioned three-point play. After the teams traded buckets, State grabbed a one-point lead when Keisha Stringfellow connected on one of two free throws with 27 seconds left.
Felder's short jumper in the lane with five second left painfully rimmed in and out and Georgia immediately fouled Thomas. She connected on the first of two free throws to put State up 84-82.
Georgia's Whitney Law rebounded the failed second attempt, Thomas' only miss in 15 trips to the line during the game, but then turned the ball over on an errant pass with 0.5 seconds left.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to 12-3 overall and 1-2 in SEC action with the loss. Oddly, Georgia has connected on an SEC-best 50.3 percent of its field goals against league opposition.
Georgia returns to action on Thursday when the Lady Bulldogs travel to No. 19 Auburn. The Lady Dogs return home next Sunday when they face No. 8 Vanderbilt at 3:00 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.