Lady Bulldogs Lose To South Carolina.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State's modest two-game win streak was snapped as the Lady Bulldogs dropped a hard-fought defensive struggle, 60-53 to South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference women's basketball game played Sunday afternoon in the Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU won back-to-back league road games last week, taking victories at Auburn and Ole Miss. However, MSU failed in its attempt to win a third straight game for the second time this season. The Lady Bulldogs fell to 0-6 in league games at home this season.

South Carolina improved to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in league play, while MSU fell to 10-14 and 2-10.

"Games in our league are going to come down to several possessions," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said, "You have to make a stand. You have to make a score. You have to make another stand. We lost some opportunities there when we had the lead."

The Lady Bulldogs actually held the better of it for most of the contest Sunday afternoon. MSU actually held a 42-34 lead with 11:15 left in regulation. The Gamecocks followed with a 16-3 run, seizing complete control of the contest.

"You have to take care of the basketball," Fanning-Otis said. "We had two or three possessions where we did not do a good job. We have to be able to execute regardless of what we are running. We are still getting better. I thought we matched their energy. We didn't have the focus and the execution that we needed there in the end."

The Maroon and White scored the game's first four points and sprinted out to a 9-4 advantage with about seven minutes to go in the first half. The Gamecocks rectified things and grabbed a 14-13 lead on a Samone Kennedy layup with 5:15 left before the half.

The Gamecocks still held a 17-16 lead before the hosts ended the half on a 7-2 run. The Lady Bulldogs held USC to 27.3 percent shooting in the opening half and led 23-19 at the break.

The Lady Bulldogs kept up the defensive intensity in the early stages of the game's final half. For MSU, Diamber Johnson broke a 26-all tie with a 3-point basket at the 16:10 mark.

MSU would later use a 6-0 run to push the advantage to 42-34 with 11:15 left. The Gamecocks answered with an 11-3 run for a 45-all tie. One possession later, a 3-point make by Markeshia Grant placed the Gamecocks on top for good.

The Lady Bulldogs were held to two field goals over the final 9:44.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 20 of 52 shots from the field (38.5 percent), 4 of 10 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 9 of 13 shots from the foul line (69.2 percent). The Gamecocks hit 22 of 51 shots from the field (43.1 percent), 5 of 12 shots from 3-point range (41.7 percent) and 11 of 20 shots from the foul line (55.0 percent).

USC held a 38-32 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had eight assists and 13 turnovers, while the Gamecocks had eight assists and 12 turnovers.

Johnson paced the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points, while Ashley Brown added 10 points. Porsha Porter saw her string of five straight games with double figure scoring snapped thanks in large part due to heavy foul trouble. Porter finished with four fouls, scoring six points and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds in 27 minutes of work.

Walker paced USC with 16 points.

The Lady Bulldogs host Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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