By From school reports
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State sent its lone senior, Mary Kathryn Govero, out as a winner in her final homecourt appearance.
Govero played a big hand in Sunday afternoon’s 65-55 victory over Ole Miss at Humphrey Coliseum, scoring 18 points as the Bulldogs (12-16, 4-12 SEC) fought their way out of the league basement.
“A very emotional day,” said Govero, a 5-foot-11 swing player from Clinton. “I am thankful for this opportunity. It has been a great run. To go out with a win made it even sweeter.”
Junior Diamber Johnson, a guard from Pontotoc, recorded her first collegiate double-double – 16 points and 10 assists, matching a career high.
MSU gained the 11th seed for this week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Lady Bulldogs will play sixth-seeded Auburn at 9 p.m. on Thursday.
“This was a total team effort,” said MSU coach Sharon Fanning-Otis. “We have really improved throughout the season. Hopefully, we can play some more games and continue to move in the right direction.
Last-place Ole Miss (10-18, 3-13) face fifth-seeded South Carolina on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
“This game was a game of runs and Mississippi State had the last run,” said Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner, whose team takes a seven-game losing streak to Nashville.
Rebels senior guard Kayla Melson played her first game after a hard fall at Florida on Feb. 3 and shared the team scoring lead at 15 with freshman Valencia McFarland.
The Lady Bulldogs swept the season series for the second time in three years. It’s the first time since the 1999-2000 season that Mississippi State has beaten Ole Miss in all the football and basketball games played between the two rivals.