Tigers Trump Bulldogs

In the annual "Think Pink" game dedicated to Breast Cancer awareness, the Lady Bulldogs' shooting struggles led to a 63-41 loss to the Tigers of Louisiana State.

Hoping to bounce back from a loss against Ole Miss, Coach Schaefer and his team held their own in the first half but let the game get out of hand during the second.

"A tale of two halves, I was proud of our competitive nature the first half, but they (LSU) did a really good job the second half," head coach Vic Schaefer said.

The contest was tight throughout the first five minutes of play, with sophomore Kendra Grant making 3 out of her 3 field goals, giving her team a 12-10 lead over LSU.

However, in the next four minutes Mississippi State suffered a drought offensively, not creating a single scoring opportunity.

By the 7:45 mark, the Bulldogs were still amidst their offensive struggles, only scoring four points since the 15 minute point.

Senior guard Darriel Gaynor then made her second three-point shot of the game, which brought her team within three with just over two left in the half.

The spark from Gaynor ultimately led to seven points by the Bulldogs in the last two minutes of the half but LSU still led 28-25 going into the locker room. Mississippi State struggled to keep up with the 42.3% shooting from LSU in the first half, shooting only 31% (9-of-29). The Bulldogs were outscored in the paint 16-6.

"Their guards were athletic and long; they were denying the passes from the wing," said Schaefer. "We also turned down getting the ball in the paint a few times. LSU is tall and big so it's a different animal for us inside."

Carnecia Williams, who had 4 points in the first four minutes of the 2nd half, was the offensive force for the Bulldogs in the opening minutes of the second half but LSU continued their hot streak of shooting.

With 14:36 left to play LSU extended the gap to fourteen thanks in large part to Mississippi State's continued offensive struggles.

"It was a lack of execution; I think we started rushing things and took bad shots," junior guard Candace Foster said of the offensive drought in the second half.

To make matters worse, Mississippi State lost their leading scorer in the second half when Kendra Grant fouled out.

The lead by LSU proved to be too much for the Bulldog to overcome with their second half struggles and the Tigers went home with a 63-41 win.

Mississippi State struggled from the field, making just 15 of 61 shots for a 24.6 shooting percentage. That number was just over half the shooting percentage of LSU ( 24-45, 46.7%). Additionally, the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 28-16.

Individually, Carnecia Williams led MSU in scoring with 13 points. She also pulled down 8 rebounds.

Coach Schaefer was disappointed with his team's effort later in the ball game, but felt that at halftime the ballgame was where he wanted it to be.

"I didn't think we were ready to come out of the gate in the second half. (You have got to) give credit to LSU; they are playing with a NCAA tournament bid in their mind," he said.

Mississippi State hosts Alabama Thursday night in Humphrey Coliseum with the tipoff set for 7 pm

"Alabama is very talented, and it will be a tremendous challenge for us. Our kids had a little bit of confidence, and I've got to get them back to doing what we were doing," said Schaefer.

Carew Ferguson is a feature writer for the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing carewferguson@att.net.

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