ATHENS— 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 on Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum to increase the Georgia winning streak to seven games.
Armstrong 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.
Mississippi State’s Mary Kathryn Govero also scored 17 points in the game while Diamber Johnson added 10.
No. 24 Georgia improves to (16-3, 6-0), remaining perfect in SEC play, while Mississippi State fell 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.