By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Jazzmun Holmes scored 12 points in Mississippi State’s season-opener against Villanova, then had failed to reach double figures for four-plus months since.
However, the sophomore point guard picked a perfect time to have an offensive awakening. Holmes provided a career-high 14 points in 25 minutes off the bench in the Bulldogs’ win over DePaul on Sunday that sent them to the Sweet 16.
“She played with a presence today,” said MSU coach Vic Schaefer. “She wanted to be in the moment, and she plays the most important position on our team.”
Holmes was 3 of 5 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free throw line in addition to two steals, six assists and only one turnover.
“Coach always talks about having poise and playing with a chip on your shoulder,” Holmes said. “I just felt like they couldn’t guard me. It felt like high school again, nobody could guard me.”
Moving on up
MSU senior guard Dominique Dillingham joined the 1,000-point club with a pair of fourth quarter free throws to cap her 10-point afternoon.
Dillingham also added a pair of steals to move her into fourth place in school career history with 206.
Victoria Vivians also climbed into fourth place on MSU’s all-time scoring chart with 1,686 points, while Breanna Richardson moved to 10th on the program’s career rebounding record book with 709.
For the second game in a row, Schaefer started Ketara Chapel, Teaira McCowan, Blair Schaefer and Roshunda Johnson to go along with Morgan William.
Usual starters Dillingham, Vivians, Richardson and Chinwe Okorie came off the bench but sparked a 60-point outburst by the reserves.
“He’s not crazy,” Dillingham said. “I think we have 10 starters, so anybody can start. I think we’re really deep. Blair and Ro deserve to start as much as me and Tori. I don’t think it’s crazy. We use a lot of different combinations at practice and are used to playing with each other, so it’s no different.”
“It’s not fun to be the underdog in this environment. But at the same time, selling tickets is important and the environment is important. I just think Mississippi State did a great job of providing a great environment out here.” – DePaul coach Doug Bruno on the crowd of 6,035 at Humphrey Coliseum