By NEMS Daily Journal
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A Mississippi State women’s team coming off its worst effort of the season rebounded in a big way on Thursday night.
The Lady Bulldogs, who are projected by some experts to be headed to the NCAA tournament for a second straight season, thrashed Alabama 71-47 behind 20 points from guard Mary Kathryn Govero.
Teammate Tysheka Grimes, who missed significant time after suffering a cut, had 16 points in 20 minutes.
State (18-10, 9-6 SEC) has won 3 of its last 4 games and is tied for third place in the league – with Vanderbilt – with only Sunday’s regular-season finale at No. 20 LSU remaining.
The top four teams get a bye in the opening round of the SEC tournament, which begins next Thursday in Duluth, Ga.
The Lady Bulldogs were coming off a tough 50-36 loss to Auburn in their home finale last Sunday.
“There were a lot of great things in this game,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “In the second half, we played better defensively and played better together.”
MSU has won eight of its last 10 meetings with the Tide (11-17, 3-12 SEC), including three victories in a row on the Alabama hardwood.
Alabama, which never led, trailed 29-19 at halftime. The visitors hit 17 of 29 second-half shots to seal the deal.
“They’re one of the toughest teams for us to match up against because they are so athletic,” said Alabama coach Wendell Hudson. “They’ve got a couple of players, two or three, that we just can’t match up against.”
Govero hit 8 of 11 field goal attempts, including a 4 of 6 effort from 3-point range.
Other contributors in the MSUromp included Chanel Mokango (7 points, 11 rebounds), Armelie Lumanu (9 points, 6 assists) and Alexis Rack (9 points, 5 steals).
Ole Miss 65, Auburn 51
– Ole Miss ended a four-game losing streak as Bianca Thomas celebrated Senior Night in Oxford with 22 points. The Rebels (16-12, 7-8 SEC) led 64-53 with just under three minutes left.
The Rebels close their regular season Sunday at Tennessee.