ATHENS, Ga. --- LaToya Thomas made two free-throws with 0.2 seconds on the clock to give Mississippi State a 72-71 road victory over No. 19 Georgia Thursday night. The final shots from the charity stripe completed a heart-stopping comeback by State."> ATHENS, Ga. --- LaToya Thomas made two free-throws with 0.2 seconds on the clock to give Mississippi State a 72-71 road victory over No. 19 Georgia Thursday night. The final shots from the charity stripe completed a heart-stopping comeback by State.">

LADY BULLDOGS SQUEEK PAST NO. 19 GEORGIA, 72-71

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/wbasketballfile120-160.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="157"> ATHENS, Ga. --- LaToya Thomas made two free-throws with 0.2 seconds on the clock to give Mississippi State a 72-71 road victory over No. 19 Georgia Thursday night. The final shots from the charity stripe completed a heart-stopping comeback by State.

Georgia led by seven with a minute to play. Reserve guard Seneca Anderson stole the ball and connected on a fast-break bucket to bring MSU (15-6, 6-2) to within five, at 71-66, with 38 ticks left. After a foul, Georgia (14-6, 3-5) missed two free-throws. With 21 seconds left, Anderson was fouled and made both of her free-throws to bring State to within three. Freshman shooting-guard Tan White then stole the ball and passed it to Rebecca Kates who made the bucket to pull MSU to within a point with 12 seconds left. After the in-bounds pass, White again stole the ball, this time dishing it to Seneca Anderson. With 0.7 seconds left, a Georgia player tied up the ball, resulting in a jump ball for State. With only enough time to tip the ball towards the bucket on the in-bounds play, Jennifer Fambrough tossed it to Thomas who was fouled as she took the shot.

"I am really proud of the kids, because the defensive pressure down the stretch allowed them to make up some buckets," MSU coach Sharon Fanning said afterwards. "You have to have some good defensive pressure, and you have to have a few steals here and there."

State trailed 70-59 with 3:21 left to play, but the Lady Bulldogs would out-score Georgia 13-1 over the game's final three minutes. MSU made 7-of-8 shots from the charity-stripe in the second half, while Georgia made just 9-of-16 in the final stanza. After spotting MSU a seven-point first-half lead, UGA took a one-point lead into the break, at 31-30.

White, a Tupelo native averaging 19 points per contest, recorded her eighth double-double of the season by scoring a game-high 27 points while dishing out ten assists. She was 12-of-19 from the field and 3-of-5 from long-range. White had three steals on the night, two of them coming on Georgia's final two possessions.

Thomas, a two-time Kodak All-American, scored 21 points and grabbed five boards in just 29 minutes of action. Early foul trouble caused her to sit for about eight minutes in the second half. She was 8-of-13 from the floor and nailed all five of her free-throw attempts while recording a game-high four steals.

Fambrough poured in seven points and Anderson recorded six as Mississippi State saw all but two of its ten players that saw action score points.

Mary Beth Lycett and Camille Murphy paced Georgia with 15 points each. Christi Thomas scored 13 and grabbed a game-high ten boards for UGA.

Mississippi State shot 53.7 percent from the field, and 90 percent (9-of-10) from the free-throw line. State hit 5-of-12 shots from behind the arc. Georgia connected on 51.9 percent of its shots from the floor but converted just 11-of-20 from the free-throw line (55 percent). UGA out-rebounded State by ten, 33-23.

MSU's 6-2 conference start marks the best start in SEC play in school history. Coupled with a similar heart-stopping victory earlier in the conference season over UGA, State's victory completed the first season sweep by a Lady Bulldog team over Georgia in school history. MSU won the earlier affair, 84-82, in overtime at Starkville.

"It is a great game for us," Fanning said. "It is a tremendous win and it should give our kids a lot to reflect on relative to comebacks, relative to where we may have lost the focus."

Mississippi State will return home for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Auburn, a team that upended the Lady Bulldogs by 20 points on January 20th. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.


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