Georgia preview

Jerica James is averaging five points a game off the bench for the Bulldogs. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Jerica James is averaging five points a game off the bench for the Bulldogs. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Following a valiant effort against a ranked foe on Thursday, Mississippi State will look for a strong finish to the regular season as it heads to Athens Sunday to face Georgia. SportSouth will televise the noon CST tilt at Stegeman Coliseum.

The Bulldogs enter the contest 18-11 overall and 5-10 in SEC play after falling in a tough 81-74 overtime decision against No. 12 Kentucky. Freshman Breanna Richardson tallied 17 points for MSU, while Martha Alwal recorded her third-straight double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Alwal, a finalist for the C Spire Gillom Trophy, leads MSU with 15.7 points an outing and is third in the conference in rebounding with 9.1 boards per game. The Worthington, Minn., native, has been a workhorse in the paint the last three games, averaging 18.3 points, 18.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks while averaging 44.7 minutes.

Kendra Grant, who scored 14 points in her first trip to Athens in 2012, averages 11.2 points after contributing 13 Thursday night against the Wildcats.

Sunday’s contest will be Richardson’s first trip back to her home state. The Conyers native, who is averaging 11.1 points in SEC play, tallied 13 against UGA in the season’s first meeting, a game the Maroon & White won in Starkville 80-67.

Behind 20 points from Alwal and 17 points from Katia May, Mississippi State claimed back-to-back wins against Georgia for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign. MSU has a chance to take three-straight in the series for the first time since the inaugural three meetings in the 1977, 1978 and 1979 seasons.

Georgia (18-10, 6-9) returns home after a pair of road setbacks, including a 67-56 decision at No. 4 South Carolina on Thursday. Erika Ford, who had 27 points in the first meeting with MSU, led UGA Thursday with 17 points. Shacobia Barbee paces the Bulldogs from Athens with 13.0 and 8.2 rebounds a game. State held her to eight points in the Feb. 2 contest.

Mississippi State’s return to Starkville following the game will be a short one as the team returns to Georgia next week for the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Duluth.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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