STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State fought valiantly in the first half, but was unable to overcome second-half shooting woes as LSU claimed a 63-41 win in SEC women’s basketball action Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs shot 18.8 percent from the field in the game’s final half, while LSU connected on 10 of its 19 second-half opportunities.
LSU improved to 15-10 overall and 6-6 in conference play. MSU dropped to 11-14 and 3-9.
“Give credit to LSU,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “They came here with the motivation of playing for an NCAA tournament bid. This was a chance for them to win back-to-back road games in the conference and they took advantage of it.”
The Bulldogs pieced together a strong first half and had a couple of early leads. MSU hit three first half 3-point baskets and only made eight turnovers, while trailing only 28-25 at the intermission.
In the second half, the Tigers immediately created separation with a 20-6 run to start the half. The lead grew to as many as 26 with an 8-0 run later in the stanza.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Schaefer said. “I was really proud of the competitive nature and execution in the first half. 28-25 at the half is probably a score both teams wanted. We both like to play games in the 40s and 50s. We just didn’t do as good a job of competing in the second half. We also couldn’t make shots.
“The first half was a competitive game. In the second half, it got away from us.”
The Bulldogs grabbed their game’s largest lead at 7-4 on a Darriel Gaynor 3-point basket. MSU held a 12-10 lead at the first media timeout after a 3-point make by Kendra Grant. Down 12-10, LSU seized the lead for good with six straight points.
The run would grow to 14-4 as LSU pushed its advantage to 24-16, but the Bulldogs battled back nicely to trail by three at the intermission.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 15 of 61 shots from the field (24.6 percent), 3 of 16 shots from 3-point range (18.8 percent) and 8 of 11 shots from the foul line (72.7 percent). The Tigers hit 21 of 45 shots from the field (46.7 percent), 4 of 11 shots from 3-point range (36.4 percent) and 17 of 21 shots from the foul line (81.0 percent).
LSU held a 39-36 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had eight assists and 17 turnovers, while the Tigers had 13 assists and 19 turnovers.
Redshirt sophomore Carnecia Williams led MSU with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Danielle Ballard led LSU with 19 points.
MSU stays at home Thursday, hosting Alabama at 7 p.m.