Lady Bulldogs Drop SEC Opener At Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State could not overcome a slow start, as the Lady Bulldogs dropped a 65-44 decision to homestanding Vanderbilt in a Southeastern Conference women's basketball game played Thursday night at Memorial Gymnasium.

MSU saw a modest three-game win streak in the series snapped, while dropping its conference opener. The Lady Bulldogs are now 8-5 overall and 0-1 in league play, while the Lady Commodores are now 10-5 and 1-1.

The Lady Bulldogs actually held a 4-3 lead before the Lady Commodores reeled off a 16-0 run. MSU went 7:29 during the run without scoring a point. A Danielle Rector 3-point basket ended the draught but the damage had been done.

Vanderbilt parlayed the momentum from its fast start for a 31-16 halftime advantage.

In the opening stages of the final half, the Lady Bulldogs closed within 14 on two different occasions. The Lady Commodores moved back out of danger with a 7-0 run. The lead grew to as many as 25 before the VU settled in for the comfortable victory.

The Lady Bulldogs did a get a spark from sophomore reserve Darriel Gaynor. Gaynor had previously appeared in four games and had not scored on the season. Thursday night, the transfer from Oregon by way of Trinity Valley Community College, scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting in 15 minutes of action.

The Maroon and White struggled on the offensive end, hitting only 28 percent of their shots from the floor. The Lady Bulldogs only converted four 3-point baskets in the contest and had six assists against 21 turnovers.

In the game's final half, the Lady Commodores heated up, moving up to 41 percent shooting in the game's final half. That allowed the hosts to open a comfortable lead and maintain that advantage.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 16 of 58 shots from the field (27.6 percent), 4 of 20 shots from 3-point range (20 percent) and 8 of 13 shots from the foul line (61.5 percent). The Lady Commodores hit 20 of 58 shots from the field (34.5 percent), 5 of 20 shots from 3-point range (25 percent) and 20 of 29 shots from the foul line (69 percent).

VU held a 46-44 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had six assists and 21 turnovers, while the Lady Commodores had 13 assists and 15 turnovers.

Porsha Porter added eights points to the Lady Bulldogs' cause. Ashley Brown had a team-high nine rebounds for MSU.

Vanderbilt received a double-double from Stephanie Holzer (14 points, 13 rebounds) in only 21 minutes of play. Jence Rhoads added 13 points, while Jasmine Lister scored 12 points.

The Lady Bulldogs host No. 25 Arkansas at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The Lady Backs come to town fresh off a 78-67 upset win over No. 10 Kentucky Thursday night. The MSU-Arkansas contest will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South.

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