ATHENS, Ga. – A tough shooting night led to a road loss for the No. 10 Mississippi State women’s basketball team.
MSU shot 34 percent from the field and dropped its second straight Southeastern Conference road contest, falling 47-43 to Georgia Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
MSU fell to 17-3 overall and 4-2 in the league, while Georgia improved to 14-5 and 2-4. For the Maroon and White, it was their first loss to an unranked this season. MSU last won at Georgia in 2002.
“We set the game back 30 years offensively in the first half,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “Proud to see our kids continuing to compete. We had some hard thing to overcome. Credit to Georgia. I thought their kids played their hearts out. We simply had too many mistakes at critical points in the game.
“You are going to have issues on the road in this league. I thought we started out well. We really played into their hands in the zone. In the second half, we went to a man offense and scored 29 points.”
Victoria Vivians finished with a game-high 20 points to pace the Bulldogs. The MSU sophomore also had a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Teaira McCowan had seven rebounds, as well as five of her team’s eight blocked shots. Morgan William had four assists and Dominique Dillingham had three steals.
MSU actually scored the game’s first seven points as Georgia went better than six minutes without scoring. A layup by Ketara Chapel gave MSU a 9-6 lead. Georgia answered with a 3-point as the first quarter expired, creating a 9-9 tie.
Georgia followed with the first four points of the second quarter and the hosts would not trail again in the contest. MSU managed only a pair of field goals by Vivians in the second quarter and trailed 17-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the offensive struggles continued as MSU had an eight-minute stretch with only one field goal covering the end of the first half and start of the second half. Georgia took advantage to open a nine-point lead at 25-16 with 6:48 left in the third quarter.
Georgia extended the lead to 10 at 32-22 with 4:54 left in the third quarter. MSU closed within 32-27 on a free throw by Dillingham and baskets by McCowan and Vivians.
The run would be short-lived as Georgia rammed home back-to-back 3-point baskets to start the fourth quarter. Still, the Maroon and White answered with the game’s next six points and later pulled within three at 40-37 with 5:01 left on a basket by Vivians. However, MSU would get no closer the rest of the way.
For the contest, MSU hit 17 of 50 shots from the field (34.0 percent), 2 of 20 shots from 3-point range (10.0 percent) and 7 of 12 shots from the foul line (58.3 percent). Georgia hit 19 of 53 shots from the field (35.8 percent), 4 of 11 shots from 3-point range (36.4 percent) and 5 of 10 shots from the foul line (50.0 percent).
Each team had 36 rebounds. MSU had seven assists and 19 turnovers, while Georgia had 12 assists and 19 turnovers.
Georgia received a double-double from Shacobia Barbee, who had a team-high 17 points and game-high 11 rebounds.
MSU returns home for a Sunday matchup with No. 2 South Carolina. Fans are encouraged to wear white as part of MSU’s “Whiteout the Hump.” The school is aiming to a set a new school record for attendance with a capacity crowd of 10,000. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. with the game nationally televised by ESPN2.
Tickets for the contest cost $5 for adults, while admission is free for youth age 17 and under and MSU students with a valid ID. Fans can buy tickets at www.hailstate.com/tickets and print at home.
(From MSU Media Relations)