Lady Bulldogs Drop Game to Penn State

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The No. 20 Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs fell short to No. 14 Penn State, 82-66, in the semifinals of the WNIT in State College, Pa. MSU experienced a scoring drought for four minutes near the beginning of the second half, while the Lady Lions came out firing with a 10-point run. Penn State held LaToya Thomas to 19 points and seven rebounds, while Lady Lion junior Kelly Mazzante's hot shooting put up 36 points and grabbed seven rebound of her own.

"The kids knew what was coming (from Mazzante), it just came down to seeing it and helping out," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "We didn't do a good job on execution and communication. In their run at the beginning of the second half, they took the ball at us and had a demeanor for winning. We need to have more leadership on the court."

MSU went with a new lineup to start the game with the substitution of junior Seneca Anderson for freshman Blessing Chekwa. In 16 minutes, Anderson posted a season-high six points and pulled down five boards. Sophomore Tan White had a tough night, going 9-25 from the floor for 20 total points. Freshman Blessing Chekwa was the third highest scorer, contributing a career-high 10 points in her first career foul out.

With the Lady Bulldogs 22 offensive rebounds, they were able to put up a 42.9 field goal percentage but where it hurt them was on the charity stripe. MSU went 3-for-8 from the free throw line with a 37.5 percentage on the game, while PSU was almost perfect, going 22-24, with a 91.7 free throw percentage.

With the win Penn State goes to 3-0 overall on the season and MSU falls to 2-1. PSU advances to the WNIT Championship game on Sunday, Nov. 24 to play the winner of the Kansas State/Southern California.

The Lady Bulldogs face their second top-25 opponent in a couple days on Friday, No. 18 Cincinnati. MSU looks to avenge its 74-57 loss to the Bearcats last season. The game is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m. (CT) in the Humphrey Coliseum.

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