Two sets of Lady Bulldogs clashed in Athens on Thursday night, as the Georgia women’s basketball team hosted Mississippi State for a conference contest that got a little hairy for the home team shortly following intermission, but the better team rose up in the face of adversity and carded a solid 70-60 victory over the visitors.
Both teams shot in the vicinity of 40 per cent from the field in the first half, but Georgia took 35 shots from two-point range, as compared to Mississippi State’s 23. The Magnolia State squad turned the ball over 15 times in the first 20 minutes, while the Peach State club won the battle of the boards (21-16) and outscored the visitors in the paint (18-6). Combined with the Red and Black’s 50 per cent success rate from three-point range in the opening period, that effort produced a 36-26 halftime lead for Andy Landers’s team.
That advantage was erased by a 14-4 MSU run to open the second half, resulting in a 40-all tie with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game. The deadlock lasted all of twelve seconds. Khaalidah Miller was credited with an assist on the Jasmine Hassell jumper that made it 42-40, and there followed a free throw from Hassell and a jump shot, a free throw, and a trey from Miller. Nine unanswered Georgia points in 64 seconds put our Lady Bulldogs in command, but the good gals were not done.
Following a Mississippi State time out, Miller hit another jump shot, then Anne Marie Armstrong drained one, as well. A Tamika Willis layup capped off a 15-0 stretch for the Red and Black that put the home team in front by a 55-40 margin with ten minutes remaining in the game. An MSU score did nothing to halt the onslaught, as Georgia tacked on a couple of Armstrong free throws and a Krista Donald layup to make it 59-42.
After that, the Red and Black put it in cruise control, allowing Mississippi State to narrow the gap in a game that had long since ceased to be in doubt. Georgia used just eight players against the visiting Lady Bulldogs’ twelve-woman rotation, but Jasmine Hassell (16 points, six rebounds) and Khaalidah Miller (16 points, seven rebounds, six steals) led the way. Meredith Mitchell contributed eleven points and drained two of two shots from beyond the arc.