Lady Bulldogs Top ETSU to move to 2-0

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A 21-6 run to close out the first half lifted the Mississippi State women's basketball team to an 80-50 win over East Tennessee State Sunday afternoon in the Humphrey Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the young campaign and will resume a season-opening, four-game homestand by hosting Utah Valley at 7 Wednesday night.

Once again, the Lady Bulldogs never trailed on Sunday. After forcing 34 turnovers in a season-opening 106-48 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, MSU forced 21 more in Sunday's victory.

"We had good balance and it was a great team win," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. "When you can hold a team below 30 percent (shooting), it is going to create some opportunities for you. I felt like we had the spurts."

A basket by Tysheka Grimes lifted the hosts to an early 6-0 advantage. At the 10:20 mark, a basket by Armelie Lumanu placed MSU ahead 19-9. After a 3-point play by ETSU's Gwen Washington cut the deficit to 22-16, the Lady Bulldogs used the final 9:20 of the half to piece together the game-deciding run.

The hosts held a 43-22 advantage at halftime. The Atlantic-10 member Lady Bucs (1-1) closed within 45-29 on a Siarre Evans jumper with 17:06 left. An 11-2 run highlighted by a 3-point basket from Ashley Jones moved the Lady Bulldogs back out of danger.

"We are taking some steps in the right direction," said, MSU junior forward Mary Kathryn Govero, who had a team-high 12 rebounds. "We just have to keep working hard. We have to bring that intensity to practice every day and keep preparing for each game we have."

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 32 of 73 shots from the field (43.8 percent), 7 of 27 shots from 3-point range (25.9 percent) and 9 of 13 shots from the foul line (69.2 percent). The Lady Bucs hit 19 of 65 shots from the field (29.2 percent), 2 of 15 shots from 3-point range (13.3 percent) and 10 of 14 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent).

MSU had 15 assists and 15 turnovers, while ETSU had six assists and 21 turnovers.

Alexis Rack was one of three Lady Bulldogs in the double figure scoring column. Rack hit on 3-of-7 shots from 3-point range and finished with a team-high 14 points and also had a team-high four assists. Tysheka Grimes added 12 points, while Lumnau finished with 11 points.

ETSU was paced by 17 points from Evans and 11 points from Taronda Wiles. The Lady Bucs also received a team-high 12 rebounds from Evans.

The Bulldogs host Utah Valley at 7 Wednesday night before closing the homestand with a tussle against Atlantic Coast Conference power Maryland at 2 p.m. next Sunday afternoon.

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