MSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS SHORT AT LOUISIANA TECH
RUSTON, La. – A late rally fell short for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team Sunday afternoon.
by eight with less than two minutes remaining, the Lady Bulldogs pulled
even. However, MSU later missed its final two shots in the last eight
seconds of the contest, falling 63-62 to Louisiana Tech at Thomas
(7-2) actually hit eight first-half 3-point baskets. The Lady Bulldogs
parlayed the fast start to a 35-28 halftime lead. Louisiana Tech (4-6)
grabbed its first second-half lead with 13 minutes remaining. The
Maroon and White could not respond as it shot 29.4 percent from the
floor in the second half, missed nine free throws and missed all nine
“After Louisiana Tech scored some baskets, they got some confidence,”
MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “They became the aggressor and
we didn’t respond. To make the NCAA Tournament, you have to be Road
Warriors and you have to make effort plays at the end of ballgames.
“For whatever reason, we became a little soft and lost our focus.”
MSU, Diamber Johnson and Porsha Porter hit back-to-back 3-point baskets
to open the contest. The Lady Bulldogs led 9-2 less than three minutes
in the contest. Again Johnson and Porter hit back-to-back treys to run
the MSU advantage to 20-13.
Tech scored the game’s next nine points and took its only first-half
lead at 22-20. A 3-pointer by MSU’s Darriel Gaynor placed the Lady
Bulldogs back on top, 25-22. The half would end with MSU going on an
8-3 run for a 35-28 halftime advantage.
“We really didn’t have the production we needed around the rim,”
Fanning-Otis said. “The 3-point shots were falling in the first half.
In the second half, we had our guard set some excellent screens.
However, it didn’t lead to the paint touches we needed.
“When you are trying to win a tight game, you need putback
opportunities. You have to have more chances to score around the
Ashley Brown split a pair of free throws to place MSU head 36-28.
Louisiana Tech pulled even again with a 13-5 run creating a 41-41 tie.
The teams would tie twice more, before the hosts seized the lead for
good with a 9-0 run.
Lady Bulldogs missed four shots from the field, two shots from the free
throw line and turned the ball over once as Louisiana Tech sprinted to
a 57-49 advantage.
MSU rallied once more. Down 61-53, the Lady Bulldogs used defensive
pressure to spark a 7-0 run. A steal and layup by Porter brought the
Maroon and White within 61-60 with 54 seconds left.
Tech’s Courtney Hayes hit one of two free throws before Johnson
answered with a game-tying basket with 36 seconds left. Hayes again hit
one of two free throws with 24 seconds left for a 63-62 lead.
Lady Bulldogs then had the final shot, however Johnson missed a pair of
baseline jumpers and the final rebound was being batted around as the
game clock expired.
the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 22 of 66 shots from the field (33.3
percent), 8 of 25 shots from 3-point range (32.0 percent) and 10 of 21
shots from the foul line (47.6 percent). The Lady Techsters hit 21 of
61 shots from the field (34.4 percent), 5 of 17 shots from 3-point
range (29.4 percent) and 16 of 29 shots from the foul line (55.2
“The free throw line was the big divider in the game,” Fanning-Otis
said. “When you aren’t doing the little things right, it is from a lack
of focus. We have to learn how to be mentally tough for 40 minutes to
be able to win games like this.”
held a 51-45 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 10 assists and
18 turnovers, while the Lady Techsters had 12 assists and 16 turnovers.
paced MSU with 25 points, including a 10-for-28 night from the field.
Johnson had five assists, three steals, a blocked shot and also hit
three 3-pointers. Porter matched a season-high with 23 points,
including a 7-of-16 night from the field, with four 3-pointers, and a
5-of-11 night at the foul line.
Louisiana Tech received 12 points from Jasmine Bendolph.
Lady Bulldogs return home for a two-game homestand. MSU hosts Southern
Miss at 7 p.m. Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m. Dec. 19.