Lady Bulldogs Lose to Georgia, 81-42

ATHENS, Ga. – Mississippi State dropped its third-straight game to top-25 competition on Thursday night with an 81-42 setback to No. 13 Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum on the UGA campus. The Lady Bulldogs lost the previous two games to No. 19 Vanderbilt and top-ranked Tennessee.

Georgia opened the game with an 18-4 scoring run in the first 10 minutes. One of the keys to UGA's quick start was its man-to-man press which caused fits for the Lady Bulldogs as they turned the ball over 19 times in the first 20 minutes. The Red and Black would outscore MSU 24-12 to close out the half and take a 42-17 advantage into the intermission. The statistical category in favor of MState in the first half was the rebounding margin at 25-23. Senior Blessing Chekwa pulled down four offensive boards to go along with her seven first half points.

To start the second half, UGA continued its hot shooting and stiffening defense by extending the lead out to 50-19 thru the first five minutes of the closing half. They held their largest margin of 43 points at the midway point of the final stanza at 70-27. A couple of bright spots for the State squad were the scrappiness of the team and the play of sophomore guard Amy Reeder. The Pontotoc, Miss. native played a season-high 13 minutes and connected on 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line to lead MSU with nine points on the evening.

"I was pleased with the way we scrapped and worked hard in the second half," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "They (Georgia) put a lot of pressure on the ball and take you out of your offense."

State finished the night shooting just 26 percent, while UGA shot 46 percent from the field. The Lady Bulldogs out-rebounded UGA 44-41, but the Red and Black had the advantage at the free-throw line, shooting 89 percent.

Georgia posted four players in double figures in the scoring column. Leading the way with 18 points was Tasha Humphrey, while Sherill Baker, Cori Chambers and Janese Hardrick each scored 15 points. Baker also registered 10 steals.

MState's Mamie McKinney added eight points and one block on the night. With her block, she now has 62 blocks in three-plus seasons which stands fourth on the schools career blocks list. Heather Hollis and Miayorka Johnson each scored six points.

The Lady Bulldogs continue their SEC road slate on Sunday, January 22 against the Lady Razorbacks of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The two squads opened Conference play back on January 5 in Starkville with UA topping State 66-45. Tip off is slated for 2 p.m. from Bud Walton Arena.

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