LADY BULLDOGS SURGE PAST ALCORN STATE, 66-48
Miss. –Mississippi State overcame a sluggish start to post a 66-48
victory over Alcorn State in a women’s basketball game played Thursday
night at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Lady Bulldogs shot 29.4
percent in the opening half and only led 24-15 at the break. The lead
was still only seven points midway through the final half before a
game-deciding 13-3 run.
“It was a gritty win,” MSU head
coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “We played with more intensity in the
second half. We had more focus when the game was on the line. Alcorn
does a lot of good things. We didn’t read and react well for most of
Senior Diamber Johnson paced the Lady Bulldogs
with 14 points, her 11th-straight game in double figures going back to
the 2010-11 season. She was one of three MSU players in double digits,
as Porsha Porter and Kendra Grant tallied 13 and 11, respectively.
Martha Alwal finished one point shy of her third-straight double-double
as she paced the MSU defense with 22 rebounds, a mark that tied LaToya
Thomas for fifth-most in a game. The tally was also the most ever by a
Lady Bulldog freshman, and her 10 offensive boards were the most in a
game since 1988.
Both teams struggled through a
turnover-marred first half. The Maroon and White scored the game’s
first seven points and actually never trailed in the contest. A Grant
layup moved the MSU advantage to 12-4 with 14:42 left in the half. From
there, the Lady Bulldogs would only manage five field goals for the
remainder of the half.
While the Lady Bulldogs (3-0) were
frigid in the first half, Alcorn State (0-2) was ice cold. The Lady
Braves only hit on 4-of-23 first-half field goal attempts. Each team
had 12 turnovers in the opening half.
“This was a complete
turnaround from the other night (a 71-65 win over Xavier Monday
night),” MSU’s Johnson said. “We did what we said we weren’t going to
do. We took this team lightly. We didn’t use this game to get ready for
our next game (at No. 6 Texas A&M) like we should have.”
Still, the Lady Bulldogs were rarely threatened in the game’s final 20 minutes.
3-point basket by Grant – one of five by MSU in the contest – placed
the hosts on top, 33-19 with 15:35 left in regulation. From there,
Alcorn State responded with an 11-4 run to climb back within, 37-30.
Alcorn State a lot of credit,” Fanning-Otis said. “They have just about
everybody back from last year. They play so hard. When you play that
hard then you always have a chance. Defensively, they did a lot of
things that caused us problems.
“We didn’t do a good job of executing our half-court offense and turned the ball over way too many times.”
13-3 run by the Lady Bulldogs moved the lead back out to 50-33 with
7:32 left in regulation. A 3-point basket by Porter capped the monster
For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 26 of 67 shots
from the field (38.8 percent), 5 of 16 shots from 3-point range (31.3
percent) and 9 of 20 shots from the foul line (45.0 percent). The Lady
Braves hit 18 of 55 shots from the field (32.7 percent), 2 of 8 shots
from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 10 of 21 shots from the foul line
MSU held a 59-34 rebounding advantage. The
Lady Bulldogs had 12 assists and 24 turnovers, while the Lady Braves
had seven assists and 21 turnovers.
Alcorn State received 15 points from Kiara Ruffin and 12 points from Renelle Richmond.
Lady Bulldogs now take to the road for the first time this season. MSU
plays No. 6 Texas A&M in the Super Six Series Sunday in College
Station, Tex. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.