Spotlight: Rickea Jackson shines in game against Georgia

Rickea Jackson drives through the lane against Georgia. Jackson scored 24 points in the game. This season Jackson has scored 320 points.

The Mississippi State University Women’s Basketball Team played the University of Georgia Monday night. The Bulldogs pulled out a win with a 14 point spread, beating UGA 67-53. The best quarter for MSU was the second, in which they scored 23 points. 

The Bulldogs seemed to have had an off-night shooting from the field. They had less than a 50% shot accuracy percentage; however, the Bulldogs led for 28 minutes of the game and were only trailing for 11 minutes. Taking the lead once in the second quarter and holding it for the remainder has something to say about the team’s defense. 

“Really proud of my team tonight,” Coach Shaefer said. “Proud of our defensive effort.” 

Rickea Jackson, a freshman forward from Detroit, Michigan, seemed to be the only player that had a good night, scoring a total of 12 points in each half. She scored a total of 24 points out of the team’s overall 67 points. The only other player on the team to score in the double digits was sophomore Jessika Carter with 15 points. 

“She’s extremely talented,” UGA head coach Joni Taylor said. “She played really well the first time they played against us as well. She plays like a guard and can score at all three levels.” 

Georgia’s top scorer for the night was No. 23, Que Morrison, a junior who scored 18 points for the game. 

“As much as we can disrupt them, we want to do that,” Taylor said. "(MSU runs) double drive. They’re probably one of the best teams in the country at it.” 

Starting the night with the tip-off, the lady Bulldogs played great defense throughout a rough contact first half. During the half, Georgia’s No. 2, Gabby Connally, had a collision and had to go to the hospital for stitches. She did not return for the remainder of the game. 

The Bulldogs pulled ahead and stayed there after a steal from No. 24 Jordan Danberry who passed to No. 10 JaMya Mingo-Young. Mingo-Young scored a layup, putting the Dawgs ahead 17-15 in the second quarter. After this breakaway, the defensive work of MSU exploded, and they were able to hold Georgia to 25 with a nine-point lead of 34 at the end of the second quarter. 

No. 5 Rickea Jackson showed her skill and leadership tonight as she led the team with 12 points at halftime, ending with a block on a shooter from Georgia right as the buzzer went off. 

Jackson set two new personal records during the game against the UGA. Jackson set her new season-high points after her previous record of 22 against Auburn on Jan. 30. She also shot her highest number of free throw attempts and scores during the game against UGA. 

As a freshman, Jackson is getting a lot of time on the court. During this game against UGA, she played 38 minutes, just short of her best which was 39 minutes in a game she played at the University of South Carolina.

Jackson also sits at the top of the list of the team’s top scorers for the season. She has scored 320 points so far. Carter is close behind her with 310 points. 

“She’s learning what the shot is that I want her to get and not to settle,” Coach Shaefer said about Jackson. “She’s obviously a lot more comfortable playing now, and she understands that I need her to do a lot more on offense.”

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