Lady Bulldogs roll against Monticello In exhibition affair

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State worked out most of the early-season kinks Sunday afternoon, rolling past Arkansas-Monticello 106-34 in a women’s basketball exhibition contest played at the Humphrey Coliseum.

Sunday’s contest was never in doubt. The Lady Bulldogs sprinted to a 33-2 advantage less than eight minutes into the contest. MSU kept the defensive pressure at full throttle, forcing the NCAA Division II member Cotton Blossoms into 34 turnovers.

“There were a lot of things that were positives today,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “We had a good assist-to-turnover ratio. We passed the ball well and got everybody involved in the offense.”

In the opening half, the Lady Bulldogs rammed home nine 3-point baskets. Tysheka Grimes and Mary Kathryn Govero each hit early trays as the hosts sprinted to a 10-0 advantage. Alexis Rack hit all four of her first half 3-point baskets in the final 6:54 of the half. MSU led 63-22 at the intermission.

In the second half, the Lady Bulldogs were able to experiment with different combinations while stretching the lead. A total of nine different players logged at least 12 minutes each every one of them reaching the scoring column.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 37 of 74 shots from the field (50.0 percent), 14 of 30 shots from 3-point range (46.7 percent) and 18 of 26 shots from the foul line (69.2). The Cotton Blossoms hit 12 of 60 shots from the field (20.0 percent), 4 of 26 shots from 3-point range (15.4 percent) and 6 of 10 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent).

MSU held a 56-37 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 25 assistants and 18 turnovers, while the Cotton Blossoms had eight assists and 34 turnovers.

Rack and Govero each shared game-high scoring honors with 27 points apiece. Also in double figures for MSU were Tysheka Grimes with 16 points and Rima Kalonda with 15 points. Armelie Lumanu had a team-high nine rebounds and eight assists.

Nykita Gordon paced the UAM offensive attack with eight points, while Emili Slamons scored six points.

The Lady Bulldogs open the 2009-10 regular season with a 5 p.m. start Friday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. That contest is the opening of a doubleheader in the Humphrey Coliseum, with the MSU men later facing Richmond in an 8 p.m. tip off.

Miss State Media Relations