Georgia Basketball: Mississippi State Upsets Lady Bulldogs


Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State raced to a 10-0 lead and withstood several rallies to upset No. 11 Georgia, 50-38, at Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday night.

Anne Marie Armstrong notched her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards in a losing effort for the Lady Bulldogs (23-5, 11-4 SEC). Jasmine Hassell grabbed 12 rebounds, her fifth double-digit rebound effort in the last six games.

Kendra Grant’s 13 points, including an 8-of-10 night from the line, paced State (13-15, 5-10 SEC).

“Mississippi State outplayed us,” Andy Landers said. “They played harder. They played with more intent. They knocked us on our heels in the first two three minutes of the game. We were passive from the onset. That said, we got behind 24-9 and fought our way back. When we did, we shot ourselves in the foot. We weren’t running the break. We were hurrying the break. And because of that we missed some chances to get back in this basketball game.”

Georgia opened its last two contests with 9-0 and 13-0 starts against Arkansas and Ole Miss, respectively, but had the tables turned in Starkville. State opened up a double-digit lead just 2:35 into the game before Jasmine James canned a 15-foot jumper to get the Lady Bulldogs on the board.

The margin grew to 19-4, forcing a Georgia timeout with 12:36 left in the period. Darriel Gaynor, State’s lone senior, scored eight of the Lady Bulldogs’ points during the surge. State maintained a 15-point edge at 24-9 before a Shacobia Barbee three ignited a 13-0 run to end the first half. Armstrong and Barbee did much of the damage during the surge, scoring six and five points, respectively.

State connected on 8-of-11 field goals en route to its first 19 points but then just hit 2-of-20 attempts from the floor over the remainder of the period. Georgia nearly took the lead on a Khaalidah Miller half-court buzzer beater that was slightly off target.

State regained an eight-point lead early in the second half, holding the Lady Bulldogs without a field goal until the 12:28 mark.

Georgia methodically cut into the margin and pulled within two at 35-33 on a James layup with 6:27 remaining. The Lady Bulldogs failed on four attempts to tie the game before Jerica James knocked down a three with 3:48 left.

State connected on 12-of-14 free throw attempts down the stretch to clinch the upset.

In addition to a season-low 38 points, the Lady Bulldogs also had their worst field goal shooting performance of the season both overall (18.2 percent) and from three-point range (9.1 percent).

The Lady Bulldogs will return home for their regular-season finale on Sunday when they host Vanderbilt at 1:30 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. The contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Georgia’s seven seniors – Anne Marie Armstrong, Danielle Bennett, Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James, Ebony Jones, Marisela Rodriguez and Tamika Willis – will be honored during pre-game ceremonies at approximately 12:15.

Follow Danny Bishop On Twitter @DBishop101