Lady Bulldogs defeat Kentucky, 80-67

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State overcame a halftime deficit in the second half to notch its first Southeastern Conference win over Kentucky Thursday night, snapping MSU's six-game losing streak.

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 17-7 lead on Kentucky to open the game. UK trimmed that lead down to as many as three points by the 10:06 mark of the half. The Blue and White outscored State 7-0 over a three minute stretch. The Wildcats took their first lead of the game with 3:04 to play at 31-30 on Jenny Pfeiffer's three-pointer. They would take a three-point margin, 36-33, into the hafltime intermission. UK shot 50 percent in the first 20 minutes, while MSU finished the half at 31 percent.

State went on a 26-6 run midway through the second half to build its largest lead of the game at 19 points, 66-47. The Wildcats were able to cut the Lady Bulldog margin down to 10 points, 75-65, with 2:06 remaining in the game but the Lady Bulldogs extended the lead to seal their first SEC victory of the year.

"We needed this win, and everybody in this gym tonight wanted this win," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "We beat a very good team tonight, and that goes to show you what will happen when you keep believing and keep working."

Tan White led all scorers with a career-high 33 points and pulling down 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. The Tupelo, Miss.-native was 12-of-13 from the charity stripe, also career-highs.

"We had to be patient on offense and execute our plays well," said Tan White. "We came out with more intensity and stayed focused."

MSU finished with two other players scoring in double figures. Junior Tiania Burns posted 20 points. She was 5-of-6 from behind the three-point arc. Sophomore Blessing Chekwa finished with 12 points off the bench for MSU. Rebecca Kates added six.

Sara Potts led Kentucky in the scoring column with 19 points. Pfeiffer posted 16 points, while SeSe Helm added 11 points in the loss.

MSU outscored UK 20-10 in the paint. The Maroon and White forced 21 turnovers, while scoring 32 points off Wildcat miscues. UK connected on just 10 shots in the second half.

The Lady Bulldogs travel across the state line to face off with Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus.


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