Lady Bulldogs Fall to No. 12 Xavier

CINCINNATI, Ohio - An 18-5 run in the closing stages of the first half proved decisive as Mississippi State dropped an 81-60 decision to No. 12 Xavier in a women's basketball game played Sunday afternoon in the Cintas Center.

The Lady Bulldogs saw a modest four-game win streak snapped. MSU now enters its Christmas break with an 8-4 overall record. Xavier saw a two-game losing streak snapped as the Lady Musketeers moved to 8-2.

The first-half lead changed hands on six different occasions before Xavier sprinted out to a 23-14 advantage. The early deficit was fueled in large part due to 17 first-half turnovers for the Lady Bulldogs. MSU spent the next two minutes putting together an 8-0 run, cutting the deficit to 23-22.

However, MSU could not get over the hump again, as Xavier hit three consecutive 3-point baskets. MSU answered with a pair of treys from Mary Kathryn Govero. Still, the Lady Musketeers shooting touch proved too much as the hosts rolled out to a 41-27 advantage in the opening half's final minute.

Tysheka Grimes scored the final four points of the opening half for MSU, closing the halftime spread to 41-31.

Xavier opened the second half with a 7-0 run and were never threatened after that. The Lady Musketeers led by as many as 26 with 2:21 left in the game.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 18 of 56 shots from the field (32.1 percent), 8 of 23 shots from 3-point range (34.8 percent) and 16 of 19 shots from the foul line (84.2 percent). The Lady Musketeers hit 28 of 57 shots from the field (49.1 percent), 5 of 14 shots from 3-point range (35.7 percent) and 20 of 22 shots from the foul line (90.9 percent).

Xavier held a 43-25 rebounding advantage. MSU had nine assists and 25 turnovers, while XU had 16 assists and 25 turnovers.

Govero finished with five 3-point baskets and topped MSU with 15 points. Grimes and Alexis Rack were also each in double figures with 13 points apiece. Armelie Luamnu had a team-high seven rebounds.

Amber Harris paced Xavier with 19 points. April Phillips followed with 16 points, while Ta'Shia Phillips had 14 points. Ta'Shia Phillips also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end.

The Lady Bulldogs host Alcorn State at 7 p.m. on December 30th.

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