Bulldogs win fourth straight over USM

Mississippi State center Chinwe Okorie (45) attempts a layup between Southern Mississippi guard Jayla King (21) and forward Lashyra Cotton (2) in the first half. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State center Chinwe Okorie (45) attempts a layup between Southern Mississippi guard Jayla King (21) and forward Lashyra Cotton (2) in the first half. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

No. 9 Mississippi State continued to plow through its non-conference schedule with a 78-65 victory over Southern Miss on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs improved to 8-1 on the year and have now won 41 of their last 43 games outside the Southeastern Conference. It was also MSU’s fourth straight win against the Lady Eagles.

“It was a grind it out game,” said MSU coach Vic Schaefer. “We still scored 78 points and only scored 13 in the fourth quarter. I’m proud of our players and proud we got the win against a really good team.”

All five of the Bulldogs’ starters scored in double figures led by Ketara Chapel‘s season-high 17 points. Chapel also added seven rebounds a block and a career-best five steals.

“I was just being aggressive,” Chapel said. “Coach has been on me about being aggressive, going to the basket and finishing.”

Morgan William and Chinwe Okorie each flirted with a double-double. William tied for the team lead with 17 points and added nine assists while Okorie scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Dominique Dillingham had 15 points including three 3-pointers while Victoria Vivians finished with 10 points.

State shot 46.7 percent for the game and never trailed in the game. The Bulldogs’ bench was however outscored 29-6.

“We’re going to have to do a better job coming off the bench, being ready to play and ready to function,” Schaefer said. “I was disappointed in some of those that came off the bench.”

Southern Miss (6-3) was led by Jerontay Clemons‘ 24 points in 32 minutes off the bench. Brittanny Dinkins added 18 points for the Lady Eagles while Jayla King contributed 10.

The Bulldogs will play three games in as many days as past of the Puerto Rico Classic beginning with Florida Gulf Coast Saturday at 10 a.m.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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