BATON ROUGE, La. – Mississippi State could not make a halftime lead stand up Thursday night, falling on the road to No. 14 LSU 65-56 in a Southeastern Conference women’s basketball game played at the Maravich Assembly Center.
After shuffling travel plans on multiple occasions over a 24-hour time period, the Bulldogs arrived in Louisiana about seven hours from tip. Still, MSU competed hard for 40 minutes before seeing its upset bid go awry down the stretch of the second half.
“I am proud of my team today,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “It has been a difficult day for them. I am proud of the passion they played with against a Top 15 team. LSU is awfully good. They are big and physical. In the second half, LSU answered the bell.”
With the victory, LSU improved to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in league play. MSU fell to 15-7 and 2-6.
In the opening half, MSU controlled the tempo and held the high-scoring LSU offense in check. In the opening half, the Tigers were held to eight total field goals, including only one from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs and Tigers played an entertaining and competitive first 20 minutes with both teams holding the upper hand on defense. After four early ties, LSU stretched its lead to 17-10. Behind the strong play of Savannah Carter and Katia May, the Bulldogs slowly rallied.
May rammed home a 3-point basket with 5:13 left before halftime to give MSU a 21-19 lead. LSU was held to two field goals over the final 8:14 of the opening half. The Bulldogs ended the half on a 16-4 run to take a 26-21 lead at the break.
“We held them to 21 points defensively in the first half,” Schaefer said. “They doubled that in the second half. We knew it was coming. They attacked us inside and we had too many turnovers. We were playing a great team. It’s hard to go on the road and to do it the way we did it, but I thought we played with passion and energy.
“We had a purpose but ran into a good team in the second half.
In the second half, the LSU trio of Theresa Plaisance, Raigyne Moncrief and Shanece McKinney took the over the contest. McKinney hit all seven shots she took from the floor and finished with a game-high 19 points. Moncrief added 17 points. Also in double figures was Jeanne Kenney with 13 points and Plaisance with 12 points.
LSU took the lead for good at 33-31 when McKinney scored on a putback with 14:14 left in the contest. The Tigers then used a 13-2 run to push the lead to 48-36 with 8:23 left in the contest.
The Bulldogs closed within four at 58-54 on a Dominique Dillingham 3-point basket with 2:37 left, but the Maroon and White was unable to get any closer.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 17 of 49 shots from the field (34.7 percent), 5 of 20 shots from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 17 of 22 shots from the foul line (77.3 percent). The Tigers hit 25 of 48 shots from the field (52.1 percent), 2 of 6 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 13 of 17 shots from the foul line (76.5 percent).
MSU held a 32-28 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 11 assists and 20 turnovers, while the Tigers had 14 assists and 19 turnovers. In the second half, LSU shot 65.4 percent from the floor.
MSU received 12 points from May.
MSU hosts Georgia at 2 p.m. Sunday. Comcast Sports Southeast will have a regional telecast from the Humphrey Coliseum.
(From MSU Media Relations)