Lady Bulldogs Grab Historic Win at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. - Armelie Lumanu's 15-foot jumper as the horn sounded lifted the Mississippi State women's basketball team to a stunning 38-36 victory over LSU Thursday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Lady Bulldogs snagged a road victory in league play for the second time in five days. However, this win was of epic proportion. MSU won the first time ever in 20 career meetings at the Assembly Center. MSU won for only the fifth time ever against LSU and also snapped an 18-game losing streak in the series with the Lady Tigers.

MSU improved to 15-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play, while LSU slipped to 9-7 and 2-2.

"It may not be one of the Top 10 prettiest games of all time," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning said. "But it was a great defensive ballgame and a fun night for us in the end."

Both teams entered the contest ranked among the conference's elite in several defensive categories. This contest lived up to that billing. LSU grabbed an early 15-11 lead on a 6-0 run. The Lady Tigers maintained a five-point lead at both 20-15 and the halftime margin of 22-17.

In the opening stages of the second half, the Lady Bulldogs mounted the only sustained offensive flurry in the game. Over the first four minutes of the second half, a 9-2 run gave the Lady Bulldogs a 26-24 advantage. The contest then reverted back to its early form of stingy defense and numerous turnovers.

LSU managed only two field goals over the first 11 minutes of the second half. The Lady Tigers only made four of 28 shot attempts in the final half.

Still, LSU battled back for a 36-33 lead inside the final two minutes of play. Alexis Rack answered for MSU draining a game-tying 25-foot 3-point basket as the shot clock expired with 1:24 left in regulation.

The Lady Bulldogs then got back-to-back defensive stops. Lumanu had the defensive rebound the first time around while Robin Porter had it on the second stop. Porter rebounded with 19 seconds left and the Lady Bulldogs held for Lumanu's game-winner.

"LSU has a great basketball team," Fanning said. "This is the kind of win that makes you work a little bit harder in practice. We had worked very hard the last couple of weeks in finding ways to get Chanel (Mokango) more touches. Then all of a sudden, we lose her and have to make some adjustments.

"It says a lot about this team, that we had some things go against us and we still found a way to win."

The Lady Bulldogs did pull a short-handed miracle. Mokango, the team's leading scorer and the conference's top shot blocker, played sparingly in the first half and none in the second half after being poked in the eye during a rebounding scuffle. Donnisha Tate fouled out with 8:06 left. Rack was slowed greatly by early foul troubles and played the final four minutes with four fouls.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 16 of 56 shots from the field (28.3 percent), 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range (16.8 percent) and 4 of 6 from the foul line (66.7 percent). The Lady Tigers hit 13 of 56 shots from the field (23.5 percent), 1 of 6 from 3-point range (16.8 percent) and 9 of 14 from the foul line (64.9 percent).

LSU held a 49-37 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had eight assists and 14 turnovers, while the Lady Tigers had nine assists and 19 turnovers.

Robin Porter paced MSU with 10 points and eight rebounds. Lasondra Barrett and Allison Hightower each had 10 points for LSU. Ayana Dunning had a game-high 13 rebounds for the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Bulldogs return home for a pair of games in the week ahead. MSU will host Arkansas in a 2 p.m. start Sunday. That contest is the annual "Take a Kid to the Game Day" and will also be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South. MSU then plays its final non-conference game in a 7 p.m. start Thursday against Savannah State.

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