Lady Bulldogs Complete Sweep of Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State turned real defensive Thursday night, totally shutting down in-state rival Ole Miss 66-50 in a Southeastern Conference women's basketball game at Tad Smith Coliseum.

MSU won a conference road game for the third time this season. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 19-6 overall and 6-4 in league play. MSU moved into sole possession of fifth place in the overall conference standings. The Lady Rebels fell to 15-10 and 4-6.

The victory was only MSU's seventh all-time in Tad Smith Coliseum. The margin of victory was the second largest ever in this building. The Lady Bulldogs complete a season sweep of their in-state rivals for the first time since back-to-back season sweeps in both 2002 and 2003.

"I thought we started off real strong," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning said. "Our assists to turnovers ratio was very good. Our shot selection suffered a little down the stretch. Defensively, we played very well."

Thursday night's password was defense indeed. MSU held Ole Miss to only two made field goals over the final 13:31 of the opening half. During that stretch, MSU turned a 16-10 lead into a 32-17 halftime advantage.

For the contest, MSU had 14 steals and an amazing 17-0 advantage in fast break points.

The Lady Bulldogs opened the second half with another flurry. Back-to-back steals and fast break layups gave MSU a 21-point advantage at 48-27 with 11:12 remaining. Back-to-back 3-point baskets by Alexis Rack and a layup by Tysheka Grimes helped MSU open its largest lead, at 60-33 with 7:02 remaining.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 30 of 69 shots from the field (43.5 percent), 5 of 27 shots from 3-point range (18.5 percent) and 1 of 7 shots from the foul line (14.3 percent). The Lady Rebels hit 17 of 44 shots from the field (38.6 percent), 4 of 12 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 12 of 23 shots from the foul line (52.2 percent).

The Lady Bulldogs held a 41-31 rebounding advantage. MSU had 18 assists and 13 turnovers, while UM had seven assists and 19 turnovers.

Rack paced MSU with 21 points. Mary Kathryn Govero was also in double figures with 10 points. Robin Porter had a season-high 13 rebounds. Armelie Lumanu had a team-high seven assists. Both Porter and Lumanu had four steals.

The Lady Bulldogs return home Sunday to meet fifth-ranked Auburn. Fans are encouraged to wear pink as part of the annual 'Think Pink' campaign at the Humphrey Coliseum. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

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