STARKVILLE – A Martha Alwal layin with 3.3 seconds left Sunday afternoon helped the Mississippi State women’s basketball team to its biggest victory of the season.
The final shot lifted the Bulldogs over No. 16 Vanderbilt, 64-62.
“I went up there and tried to be tough,” said Alwal. “I just wanted to take the ball in there and try to score.”
Alwal tied her conference high with 23 points, including 18 in the second half and 14 of her squad’s final 21 points.
MSU (17-9, 4-8 SEC) clawed back from a seven-point halftime deficit to snap a six-game losing streak against the Commodores (17-8, 6-6).
“Super proud of the kids,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I love how competitive they have become. I love how they fought in the second half. … This team beat us by 51 last year, so to come out and compete this way is great.”
Schaefer’s team survived a 32-18 rebounding deficit.
With Alwal going 7 for 7, the Bulldogs were 16 of 20 from the line.
Breanna Richardson added 16 points for MSU.
Christina Foggie led the Commodores with 15 points, including a tying basket with 15 seconds left.
Morgan Batey added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“You don’t want a game to come down to the last possession on the road,”said Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb. “When it does, it’s not going to be in your favor.”
MSU returns to the road Thursday for a 7 p.m. contest at Alabama, then returns home to play Ole Miss on Sunday.
The Rebels (10-16), who have lost six in a row, were off on Sunday.