ATHENS, Ga. - Mississippi State found the road unusually tough Sunday afternoon in women's basketball action. The Lady Bulldogs saw a modest two-game conference road win streak snapped with a hard-fought 69-57 loss to Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum.
With the victory, Georgia improved to 15-7 overall and 5-2 in conference play. Meanwhile, MSU fell to 16-7 and 3-4. The Lady Bulldogs have now dropped the last six series meetings with Georgia. Perhaps the league's hottest team, Georgia has now won four straight games.
Georgia grabbed the game's upper hand early Sunday - scoring the first 11 points of the contest. The Lady Bulldogs slowly climbed back into the contest. An Alexis Rack 3-point basket cut the deficit to 15-10. The hosts responded with an 11-3 run for a 26-13 lead with 6:39 left before halftime.
From there, the hosts turned up the heat. UGA forced six turnovers over the final six minutes of the half to stretch the halftime advantage to 37-20.
UGA would again hold the 17-point push at 46-29 before MSU made its last rally. Rack hit three 3-pointers to fuel a 17-2 run. Suddenly, MSU trailed only 48-46 with 9:25 left in the game. Georgia then moved back out of danger by scoring the game's next eight points.
For the contest, MSU hit 20 of 59 shots from the field (33.9 percent), 9 of 27 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 8 of 9 shots from the foul line (88.9 percent). UGA hit 23 of 52 shots from the field (44.2 percent), 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range (16.7 percent) and 21 of 22 shots from the foul line (95.5 percent).
Georgia held a 35-33 rebounding advantage. MSU had nine assists and 16 turnovers, while UGA had 11 assists and 14 turnovers.
Rack paced the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points. Also in double figures were Robin Porter with 12 points and Armelie Lumanu with 11 points. Donnisha Tate had a team-high nine rebounds, while Lumanu had eight rebounds and four steals.
Porsa Phillips paced Georgia with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Christy Marshall and Angel Robinson each added 13 points apiece.
The Lady Bulldogs now return home for a pair of conference games. MSU will host Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Thursday and LSU at 2 p.m. Sunday.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State currently owns a two-game winning streak against SEC powerhouse Kentucky, but the one feat the Bulldogs have never achieved in the history of this series is beating the Wildcats three times in a row.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday in a game televised by Raycom, MSU travels to Rupp Arena looking to make history. Both teams enter the contest coming off disappointing home losses - the Bulldogs to in-state rival Ole Miss (67-63) and UK to South Carolina (78-77).
Overall, Kentucky leads the series, 84-19. Last year, MSU claimed a 69-64 victory in Starkville. In 2007 at the SEC Tournament in Atlanta, the Bulldogs held on for a thrilling 84-82 overtime victory.
For Mississippi State, which hasn't won at Rupp Arena since 1995, Tuesday marks the third road game in the last four outings. In league play this year, MSU is 2-1 away from the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum, with wins at Arkansas and Georgia.
The Bulldogs are also a perfect 2-0 this year against Eastern Division foes (Vanderbilt and Georgia). Since divisional play began in 1992, MSU is 50-54 against the East in the regular season and 58-67 overall.
In addition, this game features three of the SEC's top shot blockers. While MSU's Jarvis Varnado is tops with 98, UK's Perry Stevenson is third with 50, followed by Patrick Patterson with 45.
After Tuesday, Mississippi State returns home to face Arkansas at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Back on Jan. 10, the Bulldogs claimed an impressive 70-56 win in Fayetteville to open league play.