Lady 'Dawgs Win Tourney Opener, 71-45

ATLANTA, Ga.— The Mississippi State women's basketball team (7-5) defeated Tennessee State (3-6), 71-45, Friday afternoon at the Georgia Tech Holiday Tournament in Atlanta, Ga.

In the first half of action, MState went on an early 11-2 run to open up the game, but Tennessee State answered with a run of their own taking a brief 22-21 lead at the 6:15 mark. That would be the last time that the Lady Tigers would score in the half. MSU went on an 8-0 run that lasted 5:51 to close out the first half of play. The Lady Bulldogs who shot 45 percent from the field in the half were led by freshman Bethany Washington's eight points. The Lady Bulldogs held a slight rebounding margin with a 23-21 advantage. Despite the shooting percentage, MSU did not make a free throw in the half. The Lady Bulldogs went into the locker room with a 29-23 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs used the first five minutes of the second half to build on their halftime lead. The Lady Tigers came as close as 14 points with 8:00 to go, but that would be the closest they would get in the half. Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Tysheka Grimes finished the game with eight points and eight rebounds before going down with an ankle injury with 10:57 left in the game. MSU's defense held Tennessee State scoreless for 7:25 in second half. The Lady Bulldogs won the battle in the paint outscoring TSU, 50-26. Capitalizing on their first half rebounding margin, Mississippi State finished the game outrebounding the Lady Tigers 52-37.

The Maroon and White scoring ledger was highlighted by Washington posting her first career double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds. Ten of Washington's rebounds were defensive rebounds making her the latest Lady Bulldog to accomplish the feat since teammate Robin Porter did so against Southern Miss earlier in the season. Junior Miayorka Johnson also added in 12 points and five rebounds.

With sophomore Marneshia Richard's seven assists, she now ties Tan White for second place on the sophomore assist list.

The Lady Bulldogs return to action tomorrow afternoon to face host-Georgia Tech in the Championship game of the two-day tournament with tip-off set for 2:00 p.m.

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