No. 12 Mississippi State women hold off Georgia at line

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Madison Hayes and Jessika Carter led a balanced attack with 13 points apiece and No. 12 Mississippi State made 15 of 21 free throws in the fourth quarter to hand Georgia its first loss, 69-62 on Thursday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

In the battle of Bulldogs, Mississippi State led by 14 points when Sidney Cooks hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter. A three-point play by Rickea Jackson had MSU up 55-42 with 7:44 to play, the last field goal of the game for Mississippi State.

Jackson added 11 points for Mississippi State (6-1).

Jenna Staiti led Georgia with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and her three blocked shots give her 144 in her career, ninth on the school list. Georgia had four blocks to increase its nation-leading total to 60.

Que Morrison added 11 points for Georgia (8-1). Earlier this season, Georgia picked up its 1,000th victory in program history, joining Tennessee in the SEC and 14 other schools to reach that milestone.

The game featured 46 fouls, split evenly. Mississippi State finished 21 of 29 from the line and Georgia 19 of 25, with 44 of the 54 free throws taken in the second half, 37 in the fourth quarter.

Georgia is scheduled to play at Auburn on Sunday. Mississippi State’s game with Vanderbilt on Sunday has been postponed.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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