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Stephanie Paul (3), a junior from Naples, Florida, drills into an opponent during a game against the University of Mississippi on Feb. 18, 2019 in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The Lady Dawgs defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 78-56. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Georgia claimed its first conference victory with a 58-51 win over Ole Miss Thursday evening at the Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi. A season-best night from senior forward Stephanie Paul helped push Georgia to the victory. Paul dominated offensively, putting up 18 points on 8-14 shooting.

“It’s really important to win that first SEC game, and it’s always great to win on the road,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “We just grinned it out in the fourth quarter, and Stephanie stepped up for us. This was a great team win.”

The Bulldogs started the game 0-7 from the field, leading to an early seven-point deficit. A 3-pointer by Gabby Connally highlighted a 13-0 run to counter the slow start. Georgia ended the first quarter down 15-13.

A cold start to the second quarter for the Rebels allowed Georgia to retake the lead 22-19 with 3:29 remaining before half. Ole Miss’ Valerie Nesbitt led all scorers in the first half to help the Rebels take a 28-27 lead into the break.

The Bulldogs kept Ole Miss without a field goal in the first five minutes of the third quarter but sent the Rebels to the free-throw line five times over the first four minutes of the half. Still, Georgia claimed a 39-37 lead entering the final frame.

Jordan Isaacs knocked down Georgia's first shot of the fourth period off of a perfect pass from Connally. A Paul bucket and-one forced a Rebel timeout with 6:19 remaining.

The Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run the rest of the way to claim their first SEC win of the season. Georgia will take on No .14 Mississippi State in Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday.

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