The Georgia Lady Bulldogs return home to Athens, GA to host No. 10 Mississippi State at Stegeman Coliseum in a Thursday night college women’s basketball match-up. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.
Georgia Lady Bulldogs (13-5, 1-4 SEC)
No. 10 Mississippi State Bulldogs (17-2, 4-1 SEC)
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 | Stegeman Coliseum | 7:00 PM ET
TV: SEC Network + Matt Stewart (PBP) and Christi Thomas (Analyst)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network by IMG (Jeff Dantzler, PBP)
Follow the team on Twitter at: @UGA_WBB
Opening Tip — Five Things To Know
» Georgia and Mississippi State meet for the 43rd time this Thursday at Stegeman Coliseum, with UGA holding a 27-15 series advantage over the Bulldogs from Starkville. Georgia, which owns a 15-3 mark against MSU in Athens, will be playing its fifth ranked opponent in the last six games.
Georgia senior guard Shacobia Barbee is averaging a double-double in SEC games this season with her 10.4 ppg to go along with 11.2 rebounds per contest in league play. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native has recorded a double-double in three of five conference games this season.
Seniors Tiaria Griffin and Shacobia Barbee currently rank among active SEC leaders in several categories. Griffin is the SEC’s active career 3-point field goal leader with 189 — a total that is tied for fourth-most in Lady Bulldog history. Barbee is the current leader in steals in the SEC with 256 in her career and ranks third among active SEC players with 326 career assists.
Georgia is one of the top defensive teams in the Southeastern Conference, holding teams to just 53.5 points per game, which is the third-best average in the SEC. Georgia leads the league in field-goal percentage defense (33.6 %) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (24.4 %).
The Lady Bulldogs are averaging 72.8 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from the floor in 13 wins this season. In five losses, Georgia averages 51.6 ppg and is shooting 29.6 percent. Georgia is 12-1 this season when owning the rebounding edge, with the only loss coming to Alabama.
A Georgia Win Would
– Give Georgia its 16th win against Mississippi State in Athens. UGA’s last loss to the Bulldogs in Athens came in a tight 72-71 defeat on Jan. 31, 2002.
– Improve the Lady Bulldogs’ record to 10-2 inside Stegeman Coliseum this season. Georgia started the year with nine-straight home wins.
– Give UGA its third win against a ranked team this season. Georgia hasn’t posted a trio of wins against ranked teams in the same season since the 2012-13 NCAA Elite 8 year.
Overall: Georgia leads, 27-15
In Athens: Georgia leads, 15-3
In Starkville: Tied, 10-10
Neutral Sites: Tied, 2-2
Current Streak: Mississippi State, 1-0
Last Meeting: MSU won, 64-56 (1/2/15) in Starkville
Scouting Mississippi State
The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs from Mississippi State enter Thursday’s game having won 12 of their last 13 games this season. MSU is led by one of the top players in the SEC in Victoria Vivians, who leads the team in scoring with her 17.5 points per game. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in SEC play this season, with the only loss coming at Missouri — 66-54 — on Jan. 14. The Bulldogs average 78.6 points per game and are shooting 41.7 percent from the floor.
Last Time Out
The trio of Tiaria Griffin, Shacobia Barbee and Pachis Roberts combined for 42 points, but the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team never found scoring depth and fell 64-50 to Alabama this past Sunday at Foster Auditorium.
In front of a strong Georgia contingent in the stands, the three Georgia players found success on the offensive end with Griffin and Roberts registering 19 and 11 points, respectively. Barbee recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 boards, but the Lady Bulldogs could not withstand a 1-for-14 shooting stretch to close out the game.
“We got in foul trouble early, so we’ve got different combinations in there,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “Credit Alabama. They did a really good job of switching up their defense and keeping us off track, and I don’t think we ever got into an offensive rhythm.”
Mississippi Natives Ready To Face Home State
The Lady Bulldogs feature a pair of Mississippi natives, including head coach Joni Taylor, who grew up in Meridian, Miss., which is about a 100-mile drive from Starkville. Taylor, the Meridian High Homecoming Queen, was the 1997 Mississippi High School Gatorade Player of the Year after leading her team to a 67-7 record during her junior and senior seasons.
Senior guard Tiaria Griffin grew up south of Starkville in Monticello, Miss. Griffin played at Hattiesburg High School, earning first-team all-state honors as a junior and senior. Griffin was named to the Jackson Clarion Ledger’s ‘Dandy Dozen’ of the state’s top 12 players prior to her senior season.
Georgia, MSU Series Dates Back To 1977
Georgia and Mississippi State meet for the 19th time in Athens on Thursday, with the Lady Bulldogs owning a 15-3 record against MSU at Stegeman Coliseum. In fact, Mississippi State’s last win against the Lady Bulldogs in Athens came in 2002 — a tight 72-71 victory for MSU. Georgia won nine of the first 12 meetings between the two programs and has won four of the past seven matchups.
Lady Bulldogs Set To Host Alumni Reunion Weekend
A large contingent of former players, coaches, staff and other guests will flock to Athens this weekend as the Lady Bulldogs are set to host their Alumni Reunion Weekend this Friday through Sunday. As part of the weekend’s festivities, Georgia will pay tribute to all Lady Bulldog alumni, the 1996 NCAA Runner-up Team and Hall of Fame Coach Andy Landers during UGA’s matchup against LSU. Following the game against the Tigers, there will be a reception held in Landers’ honor.
Barbee Top-5 In Several Categories
2015-16 Preseason All-SEC selection Shacobia Barbee has continued to show her versatility this season, ranking in the top 5 in the SEC in almost every major statistic. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native currently ranks No. 1 in total rebounds (169), No. 3 in rebounds per game (9.4), No. 4 in steals (45), No. 4 in steals per game (2.5), No. 4 in free-throws made (58), No. 4 in assists (83), No. 5 in assists per game (4.6), and No. 3 in assist to turnover ratio (83 assists, 33 turnovers).
Griffin Moves Up 3-Point Career Record Chart
Senior guard Tiaria Griffin has etched her name into the Lady Bulldog record books as one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in Georgia basketball history. Griffin is now tied for fourth in career 3-point field goals made with 189 treys. Griffin most recently passed Georgia great Kelly Miller on the career records chart.
Pachis Producing For The Lady Bulldogs
Junior guard Pachis Roberts, who has drawn four-straight starts this season, has made the most of her time in the lineup. Roberts has scored in double figures in back-to-back games with 11 points vs. No. 20 Florida on the road, before knocking down 3-for-6 from behind the arc against Alabama during her 11-point effort against the Crimson Tide. Over the last four games, Roberts is averaging 7.8 ppg along with 4.8 rebounds per game.
Hempe Named An AllState Good Works Team Nominee
Senior forward Merritt Hempe is a nominee for the 2015 AllState Good Works Team. The Fredericksburg, Va., native, who has four double-doubles this season, is actively involved in the community, participating in events such as Special Olympics Homeruns for Hometown Rivals baseball game, Toys for Tots, writing Holiday cards for deployed soldiers, helping provide safe routes to school by partnering with Barrow Elementary, providing toiletries collection for the homeless, visiting Stroud Elementary throughout the year to encourage and mentor children, is an Alzheimer’s Walk Volunteer and Ath-Half Volunteer, and volunteers as an AAU coach and operations staff member.
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