Jan. 15, 2012
Starkville, Miss. --- Anne Marie Armstrong equaled her career high with 22 points to lead a trio of Lady Bulldogs in double digits as No. 19 Georgia secured a 68-51 victory over Mississippi State here on Sunday.
Khaalidah Miller scored 17, and Jasmine Hassell chipped in 12. Erika Ford added eight (all in the second half) for Georgia (15-3, 4-1 SEC). Porsha Porter paced State (11-6, 1-3 SEC) with a dozen points.
The victory was even more impressive considering the Lady Bulldogs played the final 33:58 without starting point guard Jasmine James.
"We've got a lot of kids with aches and pains," Andy Landers said. "For them to be able to come out and play and then lose a player in the game and not flinch and continue to make plays like they did today is admirable. It's a maturity and a strength that a lot of teams don't have."
Georgia led 23-16 when James went to the floor with 6:02 left in the first half grasping the right knee she sprained during the Montana State game on Dec. 20. James missed the Lady Bulldogs' final two non-conference outings against Appalachian State and Furman before returning to the court for the SEC opener versus Arkansas on Jan. 1.
James did not return, leaving Ford, Miller and Meredith Mitchell on the floor for the rest of the contest.
The Lady Bulldogs were impressive over the entire 40 minutes.
Georgia scored the game's first five points and never trailed. Armstrong and Miller combined to score 14 as the Lady Bulldogs opened up a 20-10 lead at the 9:35 mark. State responded with a 6-0 run to pull within four just 1:03 later.
After play resumed following James' injury, Georgia quickly scored five points - on a runner by Miller and a three from Armstrong - to build the largest advantage of the first half at 28-16. The Lady Bulldogs eventually entered the lockerroom up 34-26.
Georgia notched the first five points of the second stanza in less than a minute to expand the margin to 13. State did not pull within single digits the rest of the way, with the lead topping out at 60-42 with 5:31 left.
The Lady Bulldogs shot 42.3 percent from the floor and outrebounded State, 40-29. Georgia had as many offensive rebounds (21) as Mississippi State grabbed defensively and posted a 29-12 edge in points off of turnovers.
"I thought everyone played well," Landers said. "Our guards, first of all, were terrific defensively and our traps on ball screens really kept Mississippi State from executing and doing the things that they do so well. That piece drove the game and drove the outcome of the game. For the most part, we kept them out of the paint as well. That's what they want to do...drive the ball into the lane and make plays or drive and kick out or drive and play off to a post player. We accomplished the objectives we set out to accomplish before the game started."
The Lady Bulldogs will return home on Thursday to host No. 9 Kentucky at Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m. The UGA Athletic Association is offering $2 tickets to the game by using the promo code LADYDOGS when ordering onlinae at georgiadogs.com. Tickets are available in any upper level section and the online promo offer expires Thursday, January 19, at 3 p.m.
Lower-level reserved seat tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and are on sale at the UGA Ticket Office at the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall from 8:30-4:30 on Monday-Thursday. Tickets will go on sale at Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 90 minutes before tip-off.
UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.