Lady Bulldogs Roll Mississippi State

By: UGA Sports Communications
By: UGA Sports Communications

Athens, GA - Anne Marie Armstrong came off the bench to tally a career-high 17 points – leading four Lady Bulldogs in double figures – as the Georgia women’s basketball team cruised to a comfortable 78-58 win over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum to increase the Georgia winning streak to seven games.

Armstrong, who will turn 20 on Monday, shot 6-for-8 from the floor to gather 17, while Porsha Phillips (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Ronika Ransford (12 points, 10 rebounds) each picked up double-doubles. Khaalidah Miller was the fourth Georgia player in double digits with 13 points. Ransford’s double-double was the first of her career and also good for a career-high scoring output.

MSU’s Mary Kathryn Govero also scored 17 points in the game while Diamber Johnson added 10 to pace the Bulldogs of Starkville.

No. 24 Georgia improves to 16-3 (6-0), remaining perfect in SEC play, while the visitors fall to 8-10 (0-6). Today was Georgia’s ninth game scoring 70 or more points this season. The victory also secured the 32nd consecutive winning season for the Lady Bulldogs under Andy Landers. Landers’ stretch of winning seasons is the second-longest ever among Division I women’s basketball coaches.

“I was impressed with the defensive effort and our ability to get our fingers on some balls, to turn them over and to rebound,” Landers said. “Those are things that we thought we could do and wanted to do. Today, Ronika Ransford stepped up, and I sensed she was getting close to being able to deliver what she delivered today. She stepped in and played outstanding offense, defense, transition and really made a lot of nice plays.”

“I thought for the most part we were pretty relentless, especially in transition. I thought we did a better job today of looking and trying to get the ball inside and actually getting it there.”

Both teams got off to relatively slow starts, as the score was locked at 7-7 and again at 9-9 with 13:35 on the clock. But after a three for Govero cut the Georgia lead to 14-13 with 9:56 to play in the first, the Lady Bulldogs picked up steam for a 13-0 run to take a 27-13 lead with 4:31 to go before halftime.

MSU’s Danielle Rector hit a three to make it 35-20 with 1:10 left, but Georgia scored the final five of the opening frame to take a 20-point lead, their largest of the afternoon to that point, at 40-20 heading into the break.

Consecutive threes from Ransford and Armstrong just over a minute apart gave Georgia a 54-28 lead with 13:06 left in the second half, and the Lady Bulldogs went up by 33 on another long-ranger from Armstrong that made it 63-30 with 9:35 remaining.

Ransford and Tamika Willis chipped in back-to-back layups on two quick Georgia possessions as the Lady Bulldogs took their largest lead of the day at 35, 70-35, with 7:01 to go. Mississippi State went on a small roll down the stretch – shrinking the deficit from 30 to 20 over the final 3:16 – but the run came too late as the home Bulldogs closed out the 78-58 win in front of 4,729 Sunday.

Georgia led 46-40 in the rebounding battle on the day, improving to 24-12 all-time vs. the Bulldogs of the SEC West. That mark includes a 13-3 record in Athens.

Georgia and Tennessee – which defeated Auburn by a score of 73-53 on Sunday – are the only two unbeatens left in SEC play.

The Lady Bulldogs will look to keep that streak going while making it eight straight wins, but will have to do so on the road as they travel to take on South Carolina on Thurs., Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. before heading to meet LSU on Sun., Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

Notes
• With today’s win, the Lady Bulldogs extend their winning streak to seven games and improve to 16-3 overall and 6-0 in the SEC.
• With today’s win, Georgia improves to a 24-12 lead in its all time series with Mississippi State, including a 13-3 record in Athens. The last time UGA met MSU was in the quarterfinals of the 2010 SEC Tournament.
• With today’s win, Andy Landers is now two wins shy of his 850th career victory as a collegiate head coach.
• With today’s game, Porsha Phillips is now seven points from 1000 career points as a college basketball player.
• With today’s game, Porsha Pillips is now 43 blocks from No. 7 Tammye Jenkins among UGA’s career leaders.
• With today’s game, Anne Marie Armstrong earned a season and career high in points with 17.
• With today’s game, Ronika Ransford earned a season and career high in points with 12.
• With today’s game , Meredith Mitchell tied her season and career high assits with 7.

Double-Digit Lady Bulldogs
• With today’s win, Porsha Phillips earned a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. This was her 12th double-digits in points of the season and 49th of her career, her 12th double-digits in rebounds and 30th of her career, and her eighth double-double of the season and the 19th of her career.
• With today’s win, Ronika Ransford earned a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. This was her second double-digits in points, her second double-digits in rebounds, and the first double-double of her season and career.
• With today’s win, Anne Marie Armstrong earned double-digit points with 17 – the fifth time this season and 11th in her career.
• With today’s win, Khaalidah Miller earned double-digit points with 13. The ninth time this season and ninth of her career.

Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
“I was impressed with the defensive effort and our ability to get our fingers on some balls, to turn them over and to rebound. Those are things that we thought we could do and wanted to do.”

“Today, Ronika Ransford stepped up, and I sensed she was getting close to being able to deliver what she delivered today. She stepped in and played outstanding offense, defense, transition and really made a lot of nice plays.”

“I thought for the most part we were pretty relentless, especially in transition. I thought we did a better job today of looking and trying to get the ball inside and actually getting it there.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis
“I felt like we continued to play and learn like a basketball team. Georgia is a really good team. When we’re faced with a team that goes on a run and we make a lot of fouls, we have to play tougher. Hopefully we can step up and learn from this and play better in the future.”

“I’m pleased with the way we continued to play. There are 11 new faces on this team trying to learn each other and because of that we aren’t always in the right spots at the right time, but as we continue to fight harder and feel more confident in ourselves we’ll find a way to get better as a team.”

“We’re a young team and it is always hard in this league with everyone as tough as they are but we’re gonna try and work hard and continue to improve. Our goal is to be the most improved team in the conference at the end of the season.”


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