STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 3 Mississippi State rallied in the fourth quarter to pull off a 58-49 win over Georgia in Southeastern Conference women's basketball action Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
MSU clinched a top four spot and a double bye in the SEC tournament, which begins March 1 in Greenville, South Carolina. The Bulldogs remain tied with South Carolina for first-place in the conference standings with three league games remaining.
MSU improved to 26-1 overall and 12-1 in conference play, while Georgia fell to 13-13 and 5-8. The Bulldogs set a new school record with 12 conference victories for the season, while running their home-court win streak to 13 games, dating back to the South Carolina contest from last season.
The Maroon and White placed four players in double figures. Ketara Chapel and Teaira McCowan each had 14 points, while Morgan William had 11 points and Victoria Vivians had 10 points. McCowan also had nine rebounds, while Chapel had seven rebounds.
"God presents challenges for us every day and we will give Him the glory for victory No. 26 and try to grow from it," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "This team is not immune to off-games. They have bad days in practice. You give credit to Georgia. I am proud of our toughness down the stretch."
"We were fortunate and lucky to win today. We allowed seven points in the fourth quarter and that was important. These kids made some real plays down the stretch."
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. In the opening quarter, Georgia held MSU to two field goals and led 11-6 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Georgia stretched the lead to 19-11. From there, MSU put some things together and ended the half on an 8-2 run. A jumper by McCowan brought the hosts within 21-19 at halftime.
The contest remained defensive in the third quarter but MSU could never get over the hump. Back-to-back baskets by Jazzmun Holmes and Chapel tied the contest 39.
MSU finally took its first lead since 2-0 when a jumper by Chapel gave the Bulldogs a 45-44 lead with 4:18 left. MSU would later take the lead for good with a 13-0 run.
For the contest, MSU hit 16 of 48 shots from the field (33.3 percent), 3 of 18 shots from the 3-point range (16.7 percent) and 23 of 27 shots from the foul line (85.2 percent). Georgia hit 20 of 57 shots from the field (35.1 percent), 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range (16.7 percent) and 7 of 8 shots from the foul line (87.5 percent).
Georgia held a 37-35 rebounding advantage. MSU had eight assists and 16 turnovers, while Georgia had 12 assists and 18 turnovers.
Georgia received 13 points form Caliya Robinson.
MSU returns to the road for a Sunday contest at Texas A&M. The contest starts at 4 p.m. and will be shown nationally on the SEC Network.