Sophomore Seneca Anderson recorded her first career start replacing Renae Jones who was sidelined with an ankle injury suffered during practice. Freshman Ebonie Ferguson scored a career-high eight points.
The two teams played even in the first 13 minutes of the game to a score of 20-19 UC with 7:43 on the clock. The Bearcats then went on a 20-4 run, taking a 40-23 lead into the locker room.
State opened the second half with a 12-3 run cutting the lead to 45-35 with 14:48 remaining in regulation. UC continued to push and led by as many as 20 with under 10 minutes left.
"Cincinnati played scrappy and they played hard," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "They wanted it and they got after it. I saw us scrap and play hard in the second half, but we need to do that for a full 40 minutes."
Cincinnati was led by Valerie King with 25 points. Debbie Merrill recorded the only double-double of the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Tamara Douglass chipped in 11 for the Bearcats as well.
Mississippi State plays Xavier at 3 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 31, before traveling to face Kentucky on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m. EST. Both games can be heard on WFCA 107.9 FM.