Lady Bulldogs Defeat Ole Miss for 1st SEC Win

OXFORD, Miss. – Mississippi State's women's basketball team secured its first Southeastern Conference win against arch-rival Mississippi, 70-59 at the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss on Sunday afternoon. The 11-point victory for the Lady Bulldogs marks the first win on the Lady Rebels homecourt since Jan. 19, 2003.

UM got off to a hot start pushing its lead out to as many as nine in the first five minutes of the game taking a 14-5 lead at the 13:56 mark. MState withstood the Lady Rebels start by trimming the lead down to four points with 11:40 remaining in the opening stanza. MSU used a 15-4 scoring run to takes its first lead of the game at the 6:07 point. During that stretch, UM missed 14 of 16 shots taken. Both teams battled back and forth the rest of the first 20 minutes going in to the halftime break at 28 apiece.

In the second half, the Lady Rebels held a slim four-point advantage three minutes deep into the half, but MSU got a huge three-pointer from freshman Heather Hollis to give the Maroon and White a lead that they would hold for the remainder of the game. The Lady Bulldogs outscored UM 18-5 to extend their lead to double figures midway through the game. Their largest lead of 17 points came with 8:56 to play.

"We had lots of people making shots and gaining confidence during that stretch that we extended the lead," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning.

The Lady Rebels went on a scoring spurt of their own, trimming State's lead down to as many as five points with just under two minutes remaining, but could not get closer as MSU hit critical free throws down the stretch to seal the win on the Lady Rebels home floor in front of 2,103 in attendance.

"This is one of the best games that I have ever been apart of as a coach," said Fanning. "They played so hard and played together. We had people adjusting to different positions, so I am very proud of these ladies."

State posted three players in double figures in the scoring column. Senior Mamie McKinney scored a team-high 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. Sophomore Miayorka Johnson finished with 12 points, six coming from the free throw line. Senior Doceide Warren had her best game of the season, carding 11 points and 10 rebounds. Robin Porter and Heather Hollis each recorded nine, while Lauren Roberts added seven points.

As a team, MSU out-rebounded UM 55-39 and held them to just 27 percent shooting, while State finished the game at 41 percent from the field.

With the win, Fanning is just one shy of reaching the 500-win mark in her coaching career.

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs is a trip to Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Jan. 12, for a match up with No. 20 Vanderbilt. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

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