Lady Bulldogs Take SEC Road Win at Akansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State opened the second half on a 23-10 as the Lady Bulldogs pulled away from Arkansas for a 78-60 victory in Southeastern Conference women's basketball action Thursday night in the Bud Walton Arena.

With the victory, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in league play. M-State has now started 3-1 in conference play on four different occasions, with the last being in 2005. The Lady Bulldogs won in this arena for only the third time in school history but second time in their last three tries.

Arkansas dropped to 8-9 overall and 0-4 in league play.

The Lady Bulldogs started on fire Thursday night, sprinting to an 8-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Arkansas eventually righted the ship and grabbed a 14-13 lead on a Charity Ford jumper with 8:47 left in the first half.

The lead changed hands four times before the Razorbacks grabbed their last advantage in the contest on a 3-point basket by Ashley McCray with 2:50 left before halftime. That shot gave UA a 20-19 lead. The Lady Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure, closing out the half on a 7-0 run for a 26-20 push at the break.

A putback by Arkansas' C'eira Ricketts cut the MSU lead down to 30-26 less than two minutes into the second half. On the other end, a 3-point basket by Chanel Mokango provided a Bulldog spark, kicking off the game-deciding run. A steal and 3-point basket by Diamber Johnson gave the Lady Bulldogs a 43-30 advantage with 15:06 remaining.

The lead would grow to 53-36 as Lumanu capped the 23-10 run with a jumper in the lane. MSU would expand the lead to as many as 25 points (76-51) before closing out the win.

For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 27 of 63 shots from the field (42.9 percent), 10 of 29 shots from 3-point range (34.5 percent) and 14 of 16 shots from the foul line (87.5 percent). The Razorbacks hit 18 of 59 shots from the field (30.5 percent), 5 of 18 shots from 3-point range (27.8 percent) and 19 of 26 shots from the foul line (73.1 percent).

Arkansas held a 42-37 rebounding advantage. MSU had 17 assists and 12 turnovers, while UA had eight assists and 18 turnovers.

Mokango paced the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points, matching a career high. Also in double figures were Mary Kathryn Govero with 16 points, Lumanu with 15 points and Alexis Rack with 15 points. Mokango posted her second double-double as she pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds and added six blocked shots. Lumanu also had her second double-double adding 10 rebounds and six assists to her stats ledger.

The Razorbacks received 26 points from Ford and 12 points from Lyndsay Harris.

Mississippi State returns home to host Florida at 2 p.m. Sunday. That contest will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South. The Lady Bulldogs are 9-1 inside Humphrey Coliseum this season. Florida enters the contest at 9-8 overall and 2-2 in league play, after a 66-64 loss to No. 4 Tennessee in Gainesville Thursday night.

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