STARKVILLE, Miss. - A pair of back-to-back late second half three-pointers from sophomore Tysheka Grimes put the Mississippi State women's basketball team (13-6, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) up by seven, and the Lady Bulldogs held on for a 57-52 win over archrival Mississippi (8-9, 2-2 SEC) Thursday evening at Humphrey Coliseum.
MSU gave a great defensive effort throughout the first half, forcing UM into 16 percent shooting from the field. The Lady Bulldogs managed to score the first four points of the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead through the opening 5:30. After missing their first 10 shots of the game, Mississippi battled back late in the half to take get within one point at 20-19 with just over two minutes to play in the period. That would be as close as UM could get, as State went on a 10-1 run through the final two minutes of the period. Junior guard Marneshia Richard capped off a strong performance, hitting a shot at the buzzer to give the Lady Bulldogs a 30-20 halftime lead.
Playing with a protective mask due to a broken nose, Richard led the Lady Bulldogs with eight points during the opening period. Junior forward Robin Porter and sophomore guard Alexis Rack each added six points to help the MSU cause through the first 20 minutes. The Lady Rebels were led by senior forward Carla Bartee, who scored six points to go along with her 11 rebounds in the opening stanza.
In the second half, Mississippi State saw their 10-point halftime margin shrink to just one as Mississippi outscored the Lady Bulldogs 18-9 to open the period. State showed great poise during the large UM run, battling back to take a 45-38 lead off Grimes' back-to-back baskets. The two shots by Grimes jump-started an 11-2 MSU run that gave the Lady Bulldogs control the rest of the way. MSU continued a strong defensive effort, holding Mississippi to 26.3 percent shooting in the 57-52 win.
Richard led the way for Mississippi State, scoring 14 points in 39 minutes of action. With four assists on the night, Richard moved into 10th place on the all-time MSU assist list with 271. The Lady Bulldogs also had two other players score in double figures. Porter and sophomore guard Alexis Rack each added 11 points for MSU, while senior forward Imesia Jackson led the team with seven rebounds.
The win improves MSU Head Coach Sharon Fanning's record to 22-14 over UM, including 15 wins over the Lady Rebels during her tenure in Starkville.
UM's leading scorer entering the game, Shawn Goff, was held to six points on the night, as guard Shantell Black led the Lady Rebels with 14 points. Bartee added 15 rebounds to go along with her 12 points for the game.
Up next, the Lady Bulldogs travel to Arkansas to take on the Lady Razorbacks Sunday at Bud Walton Arena. Tipoff between the two schools is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - All of Mississippi State's student tickets for Saturday's men's basketball game with Ole Miss were retrieved by mid-day Wednesday, the athletic ticket office announced.
MSU students who were unable to pick up tickets for the game are encouraged to go to the student gate at Humphrey Coliseum prior to the 4 p.m. game time Saturday. Those students may be admitted to the arena with their valid student identification after tip off, if seats are available. No other reserved or general admission tickets are available for purchase.
The game will be televised by FSN South.