MSU Rolls Past ULL, 72-38

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State completed a perfect non-conference run at home with a 72-38 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in a women's basketball game played Monday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 9-2 overall, including an 8-0 mark at home. The non-conference schedule will be closed out next week with a pair of games in the Reno-Tahoe Classic.

MSU scored the game's first 16 points Monday night and were never threatened. The Lady Bulldogs have now won all seven series meetings from the Ragin' Cajuns.

"We had good balance and we got a lot of players into the scoring column tonight," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. "Even though some shots did not fall, I thought our overall shot selection was good tonight. We shared the ball well and had good movement on offense."

The Lady Bulldogs dished out a season-best 21 assists, while enjoying an amazing 48-6 advantage with points in the paint.

A pair of Ashley Brown free throws capped the game-opening 16-0 run less than six minutes into the contest. An old-fashioned 3-point play by Brown ran the advantage to 23-3 with 10:48 left in the first half.

The Lady Bulldogs would build the lead to 30-6 on a layup by Brown. The Maroon and White forced 15 first-half turnovers and eased into the break with a 39-16 advantage.

"We talked at halftime about coming out with the same focus to start the second half," Fanning-Otis said. "I thought our intensity there slipped for a moment before we picked it back up. Overall, it was a very good win to go into the Christmas break. We need to come back, keep working hard and learn how to be tougher as a team."

The Lady Bulldogs opened the second half on an 8-2 run to push the lead out to 47-18 with 16:11 left. The lead was never less than 23 and grew to as many as 36 the rest of the way.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 31 of 69 shots from the field (44.9 percent), 3 of 17 shots from 3-point range (17.6 percent) and 7 of 11 shots from the foul line (63.6 percent). The Ragin' Cajuns hit 13 of 60 shots from the field (21.7 percent), 6 of 20 shots from 3-point range (30.0 percent) and 6 of 10 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent).

MSU held a 48-42 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 21 assists and 17 turnovers, while the Ragin' Cajuns had seven assists and 27 turnovers.

Brown paced the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points, while Diamber Johnson added 14 points and Porsha Porter added 13 points. Johnson posted her second career double-double as she matched a career high with 10 assists. Porter had six steals, while Martha Alwal had a game-high eight rebounds.

Louisiana-Lafayette, which is coached by former MSU assistant Errol Rogers, received 11 points from Laurie Beaty.

After taking a few days off for Christmas, the Lady Bulldogs face Oklahoma State in the opening round of Peppermill Holiday Classic. MSU faces Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. CT on Dec. 29. The second opponent in the tournament will either be Nevada or Long Island.

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