MSU women defeat South Carolina

Daily Journal reports

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mississippi State opened Southeastern Conference play on Thursday night by defeating

South Carolina, 55-48, behind senior guard Tiania Burns' season-high 22 points

The Lady Bulldogs (11-2, 1-0 SEC) also got double digits from Tupelo product Tan White (17 points) and Doceide Warren (12).

“The leadership of the girls tonight was great,” said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. “Our girls played hard and didn't give up. Tiania was a huge factor in our comeback.

“This team has to learn to read and react to different defenses. They did that tonight. We also need to keep their big players off the rim, and they did. It's that kind of teamwork that resulted in transition points.”

MSU had 20 offensive boards to South Carolina's 13 and forced 26

turnovers.

South Carolina (5-9, 0-1 SEC) opened the game strong, dominating the Lady Bulldogs defensively.

Burns scored the game's first basket for MSU, and then the Gamecocks went on a 9-0 run to jump up 9-2 with 16:05 left in the period. State bounced back, going on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one at the 14:53 mark.

However, USC once again pulled away, stampeding ahead 20-8 late in the period. Despite the sluggish start, MSU rebounded, keeping the Gamecocks scoreless for the next seven minutes. MSU trailed 25-21 at the break.

Behind Warren, MSU cut the USC lead to 27-26 at the 18:39 point of the second half. Then, at the 13:45 mark, Burns came through again with a 3-point

basket to tie the game at 31-all.

After keeping the Gamecocks scoreless on their next trip down the floor, State took the lead at 34-31 on a 3-pointer by Warren at the 11:51 mark. However, South Carolina never let up, eventually regaining the lead at the 7:29 mark.

The Lady Bulldogs kept their composure and rallied ahead by seven in the closing

minutes. Warren, who tied a career high five free throws made, hit key shots down from the line down the stretch.

Senior forward Rebecca Kates tied a season high with 12 rebounds, while junior forward Mamie McKinney tied a career high with assists. For the fourth time this season, White went perfect from the charity stripe (8-for-8).

Melanie Johnson and Lauren Simms, who had 12 points apiece, led South Carolina.

MSU returns to action on Monday when the Lady Bulldogs host UC-Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum.