Lady 'Dawgs Drop 72-66 OT Decision at S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mississippi State (17-12, 7-7 SEC) dropped a 72-66 overtime decision in women's basketball Sunday at South Carolina (16-13, 6-8) to end the regular season.

In the first half of action, the Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 7-0 run, but South Carolina fought back to tie the game at 9-9 with 14:08 left in the half. After USC went on another run of 7-2, MSU came back and took a 17-16 lead on a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Marneshia Richard with 8:28 to go in the period. South Carolina would string together a couple of baskets, but the Lady Bulldogs would take a 28-25 lead into the locker room.

The second half of action would be the same as the first. The Lady Bulldogs came out firing, only to be stopped by a South Carolina run. After holding on to a one-point lead at 41-40, jumpers by freshmen Tysheka Grimes and Alexis Rack would make the score to 47-42. It seemed at that point that MSU would pull the game out with the score at 59-56, but South Carolina was fouled behind the three-point line with 12 seconds left in the contest, and sank all three free throws. The Gamecocks took command in overtime early and held on for the win.

Rack led the Lady Bulldog scoring effort with 17 points, including a 5-for-6 shooting day from the free throw line. Richard would follow up with 15 points and seven rebounds. Before fouling out, sophomore Robin Porter contributed 10 points and pulled down six rebounds.

"We gave them some good looks and you can't do that. We have to play smart and play together. Now, we have to be focused and get ready for the tournament," said head coach Sharon Fanning.

With their fourth overtime game of the year, MSU set a new record for most overtime games played in a single season. The Lady Bulldogs split those overtime games 2-2.

With their SEC record of 7-7, the Lady Bulldogs will be the No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament in Duluth, Ga., this weekend, March 1-4. MSU will face the No. 11 seed, Florida, in Thursday's first round, with tip-off set for 9:30 p.m. ET.

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