JAMES SCORES 12 IN RETURN HOME AS MSU FALLS TO ARKANSAS
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mississippi State freshman Jerica James performed well in her return home.
in her native state of Arkansas, James scored a career-high 12 points
but did not get enough offensive support as the Lady Bulldogs dropped a
67-53 decision to Arkansas in a Southeastern Conference women’s
basketball game played Sunday afternoon in Bud Walton Arena.
the defeat, MSU fell to 14-13 overall and 4-10 in league play. Arkansas
improved to 20-6 and 9-5. The Lady Bulldogs have now lost seven of
their last eight but remain in sole possession of ninth place in the
conference standing with one week to play.
the game’s first nine points and MSU never forced a tie or took a lead
in the contest. The contest did remain competitive however, as the
Maroon and White battled back from the early nine-point deficit to
close within 16-14 on a layup by Shamia Robinson.
possessions later, James tied the contest at 19 on a 3-point basket. A
North Little Rock native, James played 20 minutes in her first career
“Jerica gave us some good minutes and we decided to
start her today,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “She is
starting to understand the game more but is still learning as a
freshman. She has a punch to her. She is a competitor and she is
coachable. She can shoot the basketball as she showed today.”
Arkansas scored the game’s next four points and eased into halftime with a 28-23 advantage.
the second half, the Razorbacks scored the half’s first four points and
quickly stretched the lead to 12 points on two free throws by Sarah
Watkins. The Lady Bulldogs closed within eight points less than a
minute later on two free throws by Kendra Grant.
Arkansas run helped move the hosts back out of danger. The Razorbacks
stretched the lead to as many as 16 in the closing minutes.
have to straighten out some things when it comes to team defense,”
Fanning-Otis said. “We have to play for 40 minutes and block out to not
give our opponent second looks. We didn’t have the 40 minute effort we
needed today, but I thought we did some things well. Arkansas played
hard, and hopefully we can come back strong over these last couple of
For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 21 of 59
shots from the field (35.6 percent), 2 of 11 shots from 3-point range
(18.2 percent) and 9 of 12 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent). The
Razorbacks hit 25 of 61 shots from the field (41.0 percent), 7 of 26
shots from 3-point range (26.9 percent) and 10 of 16 shots from the
foul line (62.5 percent).
Arkansas held a 39-38 rebounding
advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 11 assists and nine turnovers, while
the Razorbacks had 17 assists and seven turnovers.
Porsha Porter had nine points and Robinson had eight points for the Lady Bulldogs. Ashley Brown had a team-high seven rebounds.
received a double-double from Ashley Daniels (10 points, 16 rebounds).
C’Eira Ricketts scored 18 points, while Lyndsay Harris followed with 17
points. Watkins finished with 12 points.
MSU remains on
the road Thursday for a 6 p.m. central time start at Florida. The Lady
Bulldogs close their season with a 12:30 p.m. home game Sunday against
No. 7 Kentucky. MSU will recognize its senior class before that
contest, which will be televised nationally on ESPNU as part of the
network’s prestigious “Campus Connection” package.