Lady Bulldogs Fall to Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State's Lady Bulldogs had no answer for Vanderbilt's inside game as the Commodores scored 46 of their 87 points in the paint to record an 87-48 win at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday night .

VU took the opening tip and never looked back, scoring the games first 14 points. MSU did not scratch the scoreboard until the 15:10 mark of the opening half with sophomore Miayorka Johnson knocking down a pair of free throws. State got within 10 points midway through the stanza, but could not get any closer. The Black and Gold extend the margin to 20 points with seven minutes remaining in the first 20 minutes at 30-10. Vanderbilt took a 46-15 advantage into the dressing room at the halftime intermission.

MSU shot just 17 percent in the first half to Vanderbilt's 60 percent (20-of-33). The ‘Dores took advantage of the Lady Bulldogs miscues as they turned the ball over 17 times during the first 20 minutes of action. State was back to starting four freshmen in the lineup with the absence of senior forward Blessing Chekwa. Chekwa fractured her nose in practice on Tuesday.

"In the first 15 minutes of the game we were playing very timid and scared," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "My biggest disappointment tonight is that we did not help each other out tonight."

In the final half, the Maroon and White competed harder and knocked down some shots. As a team, they shot 35 percent from the field and only turned the ball over on seven possessions. State finished the night 12-of-14 from the free throw line. VU finished the night shooting 58 percent from the field. They came into the contest second in the SEC in field goal shooting percentage.

"We competed harder in the second half, but they were to much for us to handle all over the floor," said Fanning.

Majority of the Commodores points in the paint came from the 6-4 center Liz Sherwood, a transfer from Connecticut. Sherwood finished with a game-high 22 points and nine boards. She was 9-of-12 from the field. Caroline Williams and Christina Wirth each poured in 16 points. Williams connected on 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Nicole Jules added 10 in the VU victory.

MState was led by freshman Heather Hollis with 21 points and Robin Porter carded 10 on the night.

The Lady Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of the Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday, Jan. 15, hosting top-ranked Tennessee at 2 p.m. The game can also be seen on Comcast Sports Southeast Television.

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