Lady Bulldogs Defeat Alabama 72-56

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 12th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 72-56 for the first time at Humphrey Coliseum since the schools first met in 1977. MSU extends its home winning streak to eight games.

The Maroon and White opened the game with a 14-4 scoring run to take a 10-point advantage with 14:10 left in the first half. The Crimson Tide answered with an 8-0 spurt to cut the MSU lead down to two points. State went over seven minutes without a basket. Tan White's lay-up at the 7:32 mark sparked the Lady 'Dogs offense, as they finished the first 20 minutes with a 16-7 run to take an 11-point lead, 34-23, into the halftime break.

"Our assist to turnover ratio was a key for us," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "It was a team win. We kept plugging in this game and found a way to win."

State never looked back in the second half, expanding its margin to as many as 16 points midway through the half. UA trimmed the MSU lead down to eight points on Beth Vice's three-pointer with four minutes left in the game, but that trey was the last basket for the visitors from Tuscaloosa until 1:39 to play with the Lady 'Dogs leading by 14 points.

Sophomore guard Tan White led all scorers with 25 points and nine rebounds, one board shy of her 12th double-double of her career. White also tied her career-high with four blocked shots.

"Tan did an excellent job with her composure. Her shot selection and tempo was good," said Fanning.

MSU, as a team, registered 10 blocks, which tied a school record for blocks in a game.

LaToya Thomas scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half. Thomas grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Freshman Doceide Warren also reached double figures in scoring with 11 points. Warren was 3-for-6 from three-point range. Rebecca Kates added nine points, while freshman guard Blessing Chekwa had a career-high seven steals in the contest.

"There is no question Mississippi State has two of the best players probably in the country," said Alabama head coach Rick Moody.

Monique Bivins led the Crimson Tide with 14 points. Beth Vice finished with 13 points. Starkville native Jamilah Johns grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.

The Lady Bulldogs hit the road for a two-game road swing this Sunday. The first stop will be in the Sunshine State to take on the Florida Gators at 2 p.m. (ET). MSU will be in Athens, Ga. next Thursday to play the Eastern Division Bulldogs of Georgia. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. (ET).

GAME NOTES:

  • Head coach Sharon Fanning picked up her 130th win at Mississippi State.
  • With her 25 points, Tan White moves in to 15th place in MSU career scoring (921).

    ALABAMA (11-8)
    Gamble 3-11 2-4 8, Johns 2-8 2-3 6, Vice 5-15 0-0 13, Bivins 5-11 1-1 14, Sipe 1-9 0-0 3, Hunter 3-6 2-2 8, Oreal 1-4 0-0 2, Merriweather 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-66 7-10 56.

    MISSISSIPPI STATE (15-4)
    Thomas 5-21 7-8 17, Kates 2-7 4-4 9, Chekwa 1-7 0-0 2, Jones 1-4 0-0 2, White 10-17 4-5 25, Warren 3-8 2-2 11, McKinney 2-4 0-1 4, Anderson 1-1 0-1 2, Burton 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-71 17-21 72.

    Halftime -- Mississippi St. 34-23. 3-Point goals -- Alabama 7-25 (Bivins 3-8, Vice 3-11, Sipe 1-5, Oreal 0-1), Mississippi St. 5-22 (Warren 3-6, White 1-4, Kates 1-6, Chekwa 0-1, Jones 0-1, Thomas 0-2, Burton 0-2). Fouled out -- Johns. Rebounds -- Alabama 54 (Johns 15), Mississippi St. 42 (White 9). Assists -- Alabama 8 (Hunter 3), Mississippi St. 15 (Jones 5). Total fouls -- Alabama 19, Mississippi St. 16. A -- 1,807.


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