AUBURN, Ala. – Mississippi State's struggles to get back in the win column continued Sunday afternoon with a 74-44 setback to Auburn in the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on the Auburn campus. The loss extends MSU's losing skid to six games.
MState (6-15, 1-7 SEC) struggled out of the starting gates without a basket in the game's first four opening minutes, while the Tigers opened the lead to 7-0 before the visitors dented the scoreboard with senior Mamie McKinney
's jumper. AU (12-8, 3-4 SEC) continued its dominance, pushing its lead out to 20-6 near the midway point of the opening half. They were led in the first half by Nitasha Brown in the scoring column with 12 points along with DeWanna Brown's nine points in the opening stanza to carry the Tigers to a 15-point halftime lead at 34-19. MSU connected on just nine of 31 field goals in the first half, while the Blue and Orange hit 46 percent from the field.
The Tigers took complete control of the game in the first five minutes of the second half by extending the lead out to 50-23 six minutes deep into the half. AU's Alexis Ogubie had the hot shooting hand, scoring 12 of her 14 points in the final half. The Tigers came into the game just giving up 34 percent shooting from the field from their opponents. They held State to just 32 percent shooting for the game, while AU posted a 50 percent shooting total for the game.
Brown led all scorers with 19 points and Bonner finished with 13 in the scoring ledger. The Tigers received contribution from their bench with 29 points from the non-starters.
The Maroon and White were paced by senior Blessing Chekwa with a season-high 13 points in her 27 minutes of play. McKinney and Robin Porter each posted six points apiece.
"They (Auburn) hurt us in transition and they hit 50 percent for the game," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "Auburn played with poise and they have some size."
The Lady Bulldogs will enjoy an open date this Thursday, but will resume SEC play on Sunday, Feb. 5 against the South Carolina Gamecocks at 2 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum. The match up with USC will begin a four-game home stretch for MSU.