Lady Dawgs get set to take on State

ATHENS - Monday was a national holiday as the nation commemorated the birthday of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ­ MLK Day as it has come to be known. For the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, Mondays already are traditionally an ³off² day from basketball.

Wednesday, however, was another story. With the rigors of competing in the SEC and Georgia¹s thinned depth ­ the Lady Dogs now have more players in the game than on the bench Andy Landers decided to give his team an extra day away from the hardwood ­ AL Day as we¹ll call it.

³I think it¹s a good week, playing two games at home, to get mentally and physically refreshed as much as we possibly can,² Landers said. ³Its been a long season, and we¹re only a little over half way through it. Playing at home two times in the same week should help us get things back together.²

After stepping out of conference to top Miami in the Russell Athletic Shootout last Sunday, the Lady Bulldogs return to SEC action this week. Tonight Georgia hosts Mississippi State at Stegeman Coliseum, and on Sunday, No. 3 LSU travels to Athens to face the Lady Bulldogs in a 3:00 matinee matchup.

³Mississippi State is a new basketball team, essentially, with a lot of new players,² Landers said. ³They¹re playing a lot of young kids, a lot of freshmen, and any time you do that you tend to have some inconsistencies, but you also have great potential with young players. I¹m sure that as they come in here Thursday night, they¹ll be excited about playing Georgia, and we¹ll be excited about playing Mississippi State.²

Landers also has been excited about his team¹s play of late. After an inconsistent ¹05, the Lady Dogs have been a pretty solid bunch since new calendars were issued.

³For the most part, overall, we¹re pleased,² Landers said. ³There are still some areas that tend to be inconsistent at times, particularly rebounding the basketball and, at times, our defensive effort, but overall I think we¹ve been a good basketball team in January.²

Lady Dogs lead series

Georgia enters tonight¹s game with an 19-10 record all-time against Mississippi State. The Lady Bulldogs ­ the ones from UGA, that is ­ are 10-3 at ³home² versus MSU, a mark which includes a contest played at The Omni in Atlanta during the 1993-94 campaign.

Last season in Starkville, Georgia rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to secure a 67-57 victory. The Lady Dogs started quickly before Tasha Humphrey picked up her second foul midway through the first half. Georgia knotted the score early in the second stanza and eventually secured the double-digit win behind 24 points and 12 rebounds from Humphrey, her sixth double-double in as many SEC games played.

Two seasons ago in MSU¹s most recent trip to Athens, Georgia overpowered State in each team¹s SEC opener, building a 17-7 lead early in the contest and increasing that margin to 48-24 at the half. Christi Thomas led Georgia with season-best efforts for scoring and rebounds with game-highs of 27 points and 15 boards.

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