NASHVILLE - No. 25 Mississippi State dropped its second straight decision with a 72-53 loss to sixth-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn."> NASHVILLE - No. 25 Mississippi State dropped its second straight decision with a 72-53 loss to sixth-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.">

#25 LADY BULLDOGS DROP SECOND STRAIGHT

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/jenfam115-160.jpg" align="left" width="115" height="160"> NASHVILLE - No. 25 Mississippi State dropped its second straight decision with a 72-53 loss to sixth-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.

Sophomore Jessica Carter poured in a season-high 21 points behind a career-best seven three pointers to lead all scorers. Carter became the first Lady Bulldog to hit on five or more three-point baskets in a game since Meadow Overstreet hit eight in last year's win over Vandy at the Humphrey Coliseum.

LaToya Thomas added 14 to extend her double-digit scoring steak to all 86 games of her three-year career. Freshman Tan White had 11 in the losing effort to extend her double-digit streak to 24 games. That streak seemed to be in jeopardy Sunday, but White hit a lay-up with :40 remaining to put her in the double-digit column.

Ashley McElhiney, Chantelle Anderson and Zuzi Klimesova all poured in 19 points for the Commodores in the win. McElhiney went 6-of-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Anderson and Klimesova each just missed double-double status, tallying nine rebounds apiece to accompany their 19 points.

Head coach Sharon Fanning's MSU club (16-8, 7-4 SEC) shot just 42 percent for the game (21-of-50), while the Commodores (21-5, 7-3 SEC) hit on 27 of their 51 field goal attempts (52.9 percent).

Vanderbilt went to the free throw line 17 times, hitting on 14 of those attempts for 82.4 percent. State received just eight chances from the charity stripe, and the Bulldogs were able to connect on only three of those chances for 37.5 percent.

Both teams shot 40 percent from behind the arc. Carter hit seven of State's eight three-point baskets, while the Commodores sank four of their 10 three-point attempts.

The Commodores dominated the first half of play taking advantage of costly MSU turnovers and poor MSU shooting en route to mounting a 10-0 edge out of the gate. State's first basket of the contest came with 14:20 left in the opening period, as LaToya Thomas scored to make it a 10-2 deficit.

The Commodores extended the lead to as much as 22 points behind 50-percent shooting, but Carter cut the lead to 18 at the intermission with her first of seven three-point baskets right before the halftime horn sounded.

"They (Vanderbilt) did a good job keying on Tan and LaToya," Fanning said. "We made a big adjustment at halftime that allowed Jessica to get open and hit the three. I thought we hung with them in the second half. We found some gaps against their defense, but we didn't play good enough on the defensive end."

Carter continued her hot shooting from behind the arc in the second period, as she hit the Lady Dogs' first six points of the second half to key a 7-0 run. The Farmington, Ark., native, who hit 12 of State's first 19 points of the second half, hit her sixth three-pointer to cut the lead to 52-42 with 9:15 to play.

VU did not allow the Lady Dogs to get any closer, however, as they immediately pushed the lead back out to 22 points with a 12-0 run. MSU was unable to get within 17 points over the final minutes of the contest as Vanderbilt held on for the final 19-point win.

State returns to action Thursday, when the Lady Bulldogs entertain Tennessee (No. 3 AP/No. 4 ESPN/USA Today) in a Valentine's Day contest set for a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Humphrey Coliseum.


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