USC led from the opening tip and led 39-24 at the intermission. The visitors from Columbia led by as many as 19 in the final 29 minutes. MSU cut the lead to five (58-53) with Tan White's jumper with 8:41 remaining, but USC pushed the lead back out to 11 two minutes later on Shaunzinski Gortman's three-pointer.
"Coming from behind takes a lot of energy and maturity and players that have done it before," said Lady Bulldog head coach Sharon Fanning. "We have a lot players that have never been in that situation before. Hopefully we'll learn and improve for our next game."
The Gamecocks placed four players in double-digits, led by junior forward Petra Ujhelyi who poured in 20 and had 18 at the half. Jocelyn Penn added 17 points, while Cristina Ciocan scored 13. Teresa Geter recorded a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards.
South Carolina shot lights out in the first half, shooting 60 percent (18-30) from the field, but State held them to 37 percent in the second half.
"We are fortunate to come out of here with a win," said USC head coach Susan Walvius. "What Mississippi State did in the second half that was so effective is they crashed the boards hard. They rebounded and they got second and third shot opportunities."
White, a freshman guard from Tupelo, Miss., led MSU with her fourth double-double this season (25 points, 10 boards). She has reached double-digit scoring in all 15 games this season. White, who was the only player that played all 40 minutes, led the team in assists and steals, each with three.
LaToya Thomas was the only other Lady Bulldog in double digits, having scored all 16 of her points in the second half. That total pushed her double-digit scoring streak to 78 games. The 6-0 forward from Greenville, Miss., also had eight rebounds, three steals and two assists in her 33 minutes of action.
Junior transfer Renae Jones returned to the starting line-up after sitting out two games and only playing five minutes against Kentucky due to a sprained ankle. She played 20 minutes and chipped in three points and one rebound. Sophomore Seneca Anderson saw 16 minutes and tallied eight points and three boards.
The Lady Bulldogs return to the Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 10, when they host intra-state rival Mississippi (9-5, 1-0 SEC) in a 7 p.m tip-off.