STARKVILLE – It wasn’t the season opener that Vic Schaefer had hoped for but it was a victory nonetheless.
No. 11 Mississippi State downed Samford 68-47 but the homestanding Bulldogs fell behind by seven early and saw leading returning scorer Victoria Vivians pick up two quick fouls.
MSU missed 52 shots in the game and were just 2-of-20 from 3-point range.
“Obviously we didn’t play well,” Schaefer said. “You have to give (Samford) a lot of credit, they had a lot to do with it. We had no inside game against a team that wasn’t very big and that’s certainly concerning. They turned us into a jump shooting team and I feel real fortunate to get out of here with a win.”
After falling behind, Mississippi State was able to gain back its momentum behind the play of Dominique Dillingham on both ends of the floor. Dillingham was closing in on her first career double-double with eight points and eight rebounds in the opening half.
Dillingham finished the game with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“I was just trying to give a spark,” Dillingham said. “We were missing a lot of shots and I was trying to get as many rebounds as I could.”
Jazzmun Holmes shined in her collegiate debut. The freshman point guard scored 12 points and had five steals in 18 minutes off the bench.
“She’s really good in the open floor,” Schaefer said. “She sees the floor as good as anybody I’ve seen in a long time.”
MSU trailed 11-4 four minutes into the game but finished the first half on a 30-3 run and held Samford to just two points in the second quarter. State forced 28 turnovers in the game which turned into 34 points.
Samford shot 42.1 percent for the game and hit seven 3-pointers. Brittany Stevens led the way with 13 points.
State returns to action next Saturday hosting Grambling at 1 p.m.