Lady Bulldogs Cruise Past Lady Blazers, 72-50

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 14th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak to the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a 72-50 win at Humphrey Coliseum Monday night. MSU redeemed themselves tonight with a 22-point win against UAB after dropping a 76-56 decision to the Lady Blazers last season in Birmingham.

MSU led from start to finish. The Lady Bulldogs went on an 11-3 run to take their largest lead at nine points midway through the first half. UAB trimmed the State lead to three points at the 1:08 mark of the half, but MSU pushed their lead back out to the six-point halftime margin at 33-27.

The Lady 'Dogs were led by sophomore guard Tan White and senior Renea Jones, both finishing with 15 points. White had 13 in the first 20 minutes. With her 15 points, the Tupelo, Miss., native continues to climb MSU's scoring chart. Her 813 career points places her 22nd on the list. Senior forward LaToya Thomas continued her double-digit scoring ways with 13 points.

Jones' recorded her career-high with 15 points. She also dished out a career-high six assists.

"I knew from the jump ball I had a lot of energy," said Renea Jones. "I have got to be a leader for my team. I have to push them."

State picked up the scoring production in the second half, pushing its lead out to double-digits four minutes into the half. The Maroon and White went on a 24-13 run to take a 19-point lead and put away the visitors from Birmingham. The Lady Bulldogs stretched their commanding lead out to as many as 22 points with just two minutes left to play.

MSU also picked it up on the defensive end of the floor. They held the Green and Gold to just 28 percent shooting in the second half and out-rebounded UAB 43-26. State also got help from their bench, out-scoring UAB 20-4.

"They were shooting 52 percent in the first half and that's not our best defensive effort," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "In the second half we held them to 28 percent, which is much better."

Junior Seneca Anderson came off the bench for eight points and a season-high six rebounds. Freshman forward Mamie McKinney also came off the bench and contributed six points.

"Mississippi State was awesome on the offensive boards," said UAB head coach Jeannie Milling. "They had 24 second chance points, and 15 turnovers to our 21. You just can't beat a team like MSU playing like that."

The Lady Bulldogs open up Southeastern Conference play on Thursday night. They will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the 13th ranked South Carolina Lady Gamecocks. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by FOX Sports South as part of their SEC-TV package, locally on Channel 24.

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