Women's hoops sweep Kentucky with 54-41 win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs finished off a two-game sweep of the Kentucky Wildcats with a 54-41 victory in front of 4,491 in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. Sunday afternoon.

MSU has now recorded three straight wins over UK on its home floor. They have also won eight out of the last nine games versus Wildcats. The 41 point scored by UK was a season low for them.

Both teams struggled shooting the basketball in the first 20 minutes. State went 13 minutes without a bucket after taking a 5-2 lead early in the game. Kentucky did not take advantage of MSU's scoring drought. The Wildcats took a six-point 11-5 lead at the eight minute mark, but the Lady Bulldogs got on a roll the last eight minutes of the half, outscoring home standing UK 16-4 to take a 21-15 lead in to halftime.

"Both teams struggled early, but you have to have patience when things aren't going well on the road," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning, who picked up her 150th win at MSU against her former school.

The Lady Bulldogs shot just 32 percent from the field in the opening half, while UK shot 25 percent. Junior Tiania Burns reached double figures by the intermission with 11 points.

MSU picked up right where it left off in the second half. They increased the six-point margin to double figures under a minute deep in to the final half. The Wildcats trimmed that lead down to nine twice, but could not get any closer. MSU stretched the lead out to as many as 19 points at 47-28 with 6:13 to play in the game.

The Lady Bulldogs took advantage of UK's ball handling miscues, turning 22 Wildcat turnovers into 28 points for the visitors. MSU was 12-of-17 from the charity stripe, but only hit two three-pointers in the game.

Burns led the Lady Bulldog charge with 22 points and two steals and two assists. Junior Tan White finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Blessing Chekwa came off the bench to add six points. Chekwa sparked the offense during that cold scoring span. Mamie McKinney pulled down double figures in rebounds with 10 boards.

Sara Potts led UK with 18 points and nine rebounds. SeSe Helm added 14 points.

MSU improved to 11-12 overall, 5-5 in Southeastern Conference play, while UK dropped to 9-14, 1-8 in league play.

State returns home on Thursday, Feb. 19th, welcoming the South Carolina Gamecocks to Humphrey Coliseum. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on the MSU campus.

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