Lady 'Dawgs Win Tourney Title, 62-56

ATLANTA, Ga. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team (8-5) beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-4), 62-56, behind the 24 points of freshman Alexis Rack, Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the Georgia Tech Holiday Tournament in Atlanta, Ga.

After not scoring the first few minutes of the game, MSU put together a 6-2 run to give the Lady Bulldogs an early 9-6 lead. Georgia Tech answered back with a 10-3 run, taking a 16-12 lead after coming out of a timeout. Back-to-back three pointers by freshman Alexis Rack at 10:45 and 9:23 brought MState within one. The biggest lead of the half by either team was four points. At the 4:48 mark sophomore Heather Hollis hit a three pointer to tie the game at 19 a piece. Tying the game one more time at 1:35 off of free throws by junior Imesia Jackson, MSU went on a 5-1 run following another three pointer from Rack, who led all scorers at the half with nine points, and a layup by sophomore Marneshia Richard to bring a 27-25 lead into intermission.

Coming into the second half it was all Georgia Tech. The Yellow jackets opened up the half with eight unanswered points. After only having 11 first half turnovers, the Lady Bulldogs added 13 to that total in the first 13 minutes of the half. Despite getting down by as many as 13, a 13-0 run highlighted by two offensive rebounds and a converted three point play by sophomore Robin Porter, MSU cut the lead to five points. Jackson tied the game at 54 all on a pair of free throws at the 2:13 mark. The Lady Bulldogs took their first lead since halftime on a free throw by Rack that eventually sealed the game for Mississippi State. The Lady Bulldogs finished the game on a 7-2 run.

Rack, a freshman from Franklin, La., notched a new season-high with the 24 points, shooting a season-high 6-for-9 from behind the arc. Rack, the only member of the tournament team from MSU, was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. With her six three-point field goals made, Rack now ties Jessica Carter, Tan White and Cynthia Hall on the all-time list for three-point field goals made in a single game. Porter, who had a 4-for-8 day shooting, chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds into the championship performance.

The win gives the Lady Bulldogs their first regular season tournament title since winning the MSU Classic in 2004.

"I can't really tell you how special this game is," said head coach Sharon Fanning.

"The bottom line is we found a way," added Fanning.

Georgia Tech finished the game with three players posting double-figure scoring including Jackson-native Janie Mitchell who had 10 points for the Yellow jackets.

The Lady Bulldogs will be in action again on Jan. 2nd against host Mercer with tip-off set for 4:15 p.m.

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