Lady Bulldogs Roll Past New Orleans, 81-69

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 14th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (17-6) closed out their non-conference slate with a convincing 81-69 win over New Orleans Wednesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU led from the opening tip to the final horn. They opened the game with a 15-5 run to give them the early 10-point lead at the 14:06 mark of the first half. The Privateers trimmed the double-digit lead down to six points at 19-13 with 11:10 to play. State went on a 26-8 run to take a 25-point margin at 46-21 in to the halftime break.

State shot well from the field in the first 20 minutes, shooting 51 percent from the field, while UNO shot just 22 percent in the first half. The Lady 'Dogs cooled off a bit in the final half shooting 43 percent for the game. The MSU defense held the Privateers to just 36 percent for the game. State out-rebounded UNO 50-36. Sophomore forward Rebecca Kates finished with a game and career-high 12 rebounds. MSU placed three players in double figures on the boards for the first time this season.

In the final half, MSU pushed its' lead out to as many as 29 points, twice. The Blue and White finished the game with a 26-9 run the last nine minutes of the game to cut the margin to 12 points. MSU had 14 second half turnovers.

LaToya Thomas and Tan White registered double-doubles, the first time this season that two MSU players recorded double-doubles the same game. Thomas finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, registering her 43rd career double-double. White recorded her 12th career double-double with 16 points and 10 boards, the sophomore from Tupelo, Miss., also registered four steals and two blocks.

Jasmine Smiri led the visitors from the Big Easy with 12 points. Monique Taylor and Jeannette Jimenez both finished with 11 points.

"The team had 24 turnovers. This was a careless game down the stretch, it was one where we were not alert and playing to the level of our opponent," said Fanning.

Mississippi State returns to Southeastern Conference play on Sunday, Feb. 16 hosting the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Tip-off between the Lady 'Dogs and Wildcats is set for 2 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.

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