Lady 'Dawgs Upset #22 Lady Rebels, 73-71

OXFORD, Miss. - Sophomore Marneshia Richard hit a jump shot as time expired and Mississippi State's women's basketball team (13-8, 4-3 SEC) left the campus of 22nd-ranked arch-rival Mississippi (16-6, 5-2 SEC) with a 73-71 upset victory Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Alexis Rack led State in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and seven boards on the day. Richard was right behind with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Bethany Washington and Lauren Roberts added nine points each in the MSU cause.

State built a 35-31 lead at halftime, the MSU bench outscoring the UM bench 17-2 in the half. The Lady Bulldogs extended that advantage to as much as 18 at 54-36 in the first five minutes of the second period. UM, however, rallied hard in the next 10 minutes, going on a 23-5 run to tie the game at 59-59 with 5:25 to go.

The Lady Rebels led by as much as five at 66-61 with 2:35 to go, but State would not be denied, MSU scored the next six points for a 67-66 lead.

The teams battled in the final minute. Two free throws by Rack gave the Lady Bulldogs a 71-68 lead with 14 seconds to go. Five seconds later, Lady Rebel Ashley Awkward, who led UM with 19 points, nailed a three-pointer to knot the contest at 71-71. Then came Richard's game-winner as the clock expired.

MSU finished the game shooting 46 percent compared to Mississippi's 39. MState shot 39 percent from behind the arc while UM shot only 25 percent. Mississippi State shot a season-high 83 percent from the free throw line on 10-for-12 shooting.

State posted its fourth SEC win through seven outings this season, after managing only one in 2005-06. The Lady Rebels suffered their second consecutive league defeat, after having upset No. 11 Vanderbilt and No. 5 LSU just two weeks ago en route to a 5-0 conference start.

The Lady Bulldogs continue their SEC slate, facing Arkansas this Thursday (Feb. 1) in a televised contest from Humphrey Coliseum with tipoff set for 8 p.m. State previously defeated the then-20th-ranked Lady Razorbacks, 81-73, in Fayetteville on Jan. 7.

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