Lady Bulldogs Drop Game vs. TCU, 72-52

TULUM, Cancun - Despite an eight point deficit at halftime, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (1-2) lost by a 20-point margin (72-52) to the TCU Lady Frogs (2-1) in their first game of the Caribbean Classic held in Tulum, Mexico. Turnovers were MSU's downfall with TCU scoring 27 points off of 28 Lady Bulldog turnovers.

"Every game it is going to come down to consistent defense, rebounding and shot selection," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "I thought we did a better job initially with execution. One area that has stood out in our losses is our assist/turnover ratio. You want to make things happen but not force things. We are still juggling combinations because of our injuries. Our younger players are getting more experience but it will take time to adjust to the level of competition on our schedule."

After controlling the tip and putting the first points on the board, it took some time for both teams to warm up. The game was tied at 6-6 at 15:00 in the first half, and then MSU scored nine consecutive points on a 4:89 minute TCU scoring drought. State put together a 10-point lead at the 8:53 mark off of three jumpers by freshman guard/forward Robin Porter and four points by freshman guard Heather Hollis. MSU would not put another point on the scoreboard for the rest of the first half, while TCU went on an 18-0 scoring run to take the lead into the lockerroom, 29-21.

Junior guard Sarah Johnson's free throw within the first minute of the second half finally put points on the board for MSU, 22-31. State was 12-for-22 from the free throw line off of 14 second half TCU fouls. The Lady Bulldogs would never regain the lead from the first stanza. TCU came alive shooting .533 field goal percentage compared to the nine shots that MSU made in the second half. The Lady Frogs would extend their lead out to 22 points with 22 seconds left in the game for the eventual 72-52 win.

Freshmen were the leading point scorers for MSU with 14 a piece by Porter and forward Lauren Roberts. Porter went 4-for-6 from the free throw line, totaling 10-for-13 from the charity stripe in the first three games of the season and marked the third straight game she posted double digits point totals. Roberts scored all 14 points in the second half alone, including eight rebounds for the game. Senior forward Mamie McKinney pulled down eight boards as well.

Four TCU players registered double digits in the win, including leading scorer Natasha Lacey with 17.

State will play Arizona State (3-1) on Saturday, Nov. 26 in a 7 p.m. CT match up. No. 15 ASU fell to No. 8 North Carolina in the early game today, 79-72.

-Senior guard Doceide Warren collided with TCU's #34 Ashley Davis at the 14:19 mark of the second half and would leave the game with a mild concussion.
-State is now 1-1 vs. TCU and 2-5 vs. the Mountain West Conference.

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