Mississippi State Surges Past Georgia, 76-71

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 11th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs overcame an 11-point Georgia second half lead to win the final home game of the season, 76-71, in front of 3,087 at Humphrey Coliseum Thursday night.

Tan White's three-pointer with 38 seconds left to play gave the home standing Lady 'Dogs their first lead of the second half at 72-71. Freshman forward Mamie McKinney rebounded a Blessing Chekwa free throw attempt to give White the game-winning trey opportunity. State sealed the victory with clutch free throws from Doceide Warren and White. MSU avenged a 76-71 loss to UGA on February 6.

"I just got myself open. I had a good look and took it," said Tan White. "I'm not the type to let down, I have confidence in my shot."

In the first 20 minutes both teams shot identical shooting percentages. MSU and UGA shot 43 percent in the half. State's biggest lead of the first half was six points at 28-22 with 7:15 on the clock. UGA's led by as many as four during the half. The Lady 'Dogs from Athens took a two-point lead at 39-37 in to halftime. The game was tied eight times in the half.

"It was a great basketball game to watch," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "These are the types of games it takes to win a championship in this league."

UGA opened the final half with an 11-4 run to push their two-point lead out to 11 points with 16:56 to play. State responded with a 9-1 scoring spurt to trim the Red and Black lead down to one at 51-50. They tied the game at 57-57 on Warren's free throws with 8:13 to play. Georgia pushed the lead to five points with just under the five-minute mark. White hit a trey to even the score at 67-67. MSU out-scored UGA 9-4 in the final three minutes of the game.

MSU placed three players in double figures in the scoring column. Senior forward LaToya Thomas recorded her 44th career double-double with 29 points and 13 rebounds. White finished with 21 points, the sophomore hit 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Warren came off the bench to contribute 10 points. Senior Renea Jones added nine first half points, while Chekwa finished with five points and seven boards.

"It was a great win, we came out emotional at the beginning," said LaToya Thomas. "We had a great crowd and we gave them a good game."

Christi Thomas led Georgia with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Sherill Baker and Alexis Kendrick both finished with 16 points. Mary Beth Lycett added 12 points.

"Georgia is a very good basketball team," said Fanning. "Their guards Sherill Baker and Alexis Kendrick are going to be outstanding guards in this league."

The Maroon and White close out their regular season Sunday, traveling to the plains of Auburn to tackle the Auburn Tigers. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. in the Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum. The Lady 'Dogs will be looking for the season sweep of the Tigers. MSU defeated AU 69-60 earlier this season in Starkville.

GAME NOTES

  • Tan White moved into fifth place on two MSU record charts. With her two steals, she now has 187 career steals. She also has made 103 three-point field goals made.
  • MSU has won the past two meetings in Starkville versus Georgia. The series is tied 6-6 in Starkville.

    GEORGIA (18-8)
    Driskell 1-7 1-2 3, C.Thomas 10-16 2-3 22, Lycett 4-10 2-2 12, Baker 8-17 0-0 16, Kendrick 4-14 6-9 16, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Pierce 1-4 0-0 2, Frye 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-69 11-16 71.

    MISSISSIPPI STATE (21-6)
    L.Thomas 12-22 5-5 29, Kates 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 4-9 0-0 9, White 7-14 3-3 21, Stringfellow 0-0 0-0 0, Chekwa 1-8 3-5 5, Warren 3-11 3-3 10, McKinney 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 28-67 14-16 76.

    Halftime -- Georgia 39-37. 3-point goals -- Georgia 4-21 (Kendrick 2-7, Lycett 2-7, Baker 0-1, Driskell 0-2, C.Thomas 0-2, Pierce 0-2), Mississippi St. 6-26 (White 4-8, Jones 1-6, Warren 1-7, Chekwa 0-2, Thomas 0-3). Fouled out -- C.Thomas. Rebounds -- Georgia 39 (C.Thomas 11), Mississippi St. 43 (L.Thomas 13). Assists -- Georgia 14 (Kendrick 6), Mississippi St. 16 (Warren 4). Total fouls -- Georgia 18, Mississippi St. 16. A -- 3,807.


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