The Tigers return to the court on Saturday, Nov. 16 as they take on Temple at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. CT.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – On a day that saw Mississippi State sign the 18th-rated recruiting class in the nation, the Bulldogs shook loose of the early doldrums to defeat Jackson State 81-42 in a women’s basketball game played Wednesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
“The first 10 minutes of the game we were not a good basketball team,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We put so much emphasis on winning the first game at Houston and it had a hangover effect on this game. You could tell we were flat the last couple of days in practice.
The lethargic start saw the teams tied at 13 with 10:35 left before the half. From there, the Maroon and White dominated on both ends of the floor to win their 28th straight home opener. The Bulldogs claimed the win in front of a crowd of 1,535 that is the largest for a non-conference home game since 3,042 watched MSU defeat Maryland on Nov. 22, 2009.
“We really can’t have a start like we did again,” MSU junior guard Kendra Grant said. “It was the second straight game where we got off to a rocky start. After that we settled down and played well. Defense was the key. We played smart on that end of the floor. We guarded them hard and didn’t make a lot of fouls.”
MSU (2-0) held Jackson State (0-3) to five first-half field goals and forced 21 turnovers in the opening half. The Bulldogs ended the half with an 18-4 run to take a commanding 39-19 lead at the intermission.
“We had the largest non-conference crowd we have had since I have been here and we were boring them to tears,” Schaefer said. “I told the girls to stop playing uptight and to go out and play their game. We were very active in the passing lanes and got some turnovers early and got some things going.”
Three-point baskets by Kendra Grant and Dominique Dillingham highlighted the half-ending run. MSU also got four straight points from Sherise Williams.
“Sherise (Williams) came off the bench and really gave us some solid minutes,” Schaefer said. “I thought Jerica James did the same. Jerica did a great job from the point guard position. Obviously, Breanna Richardson’s stat line was great. She had 14 rebounds and five of those were on the offensive end. We will take that every night.”
The Bulldogs scored the first points of the second half to quickly build a 44-19 advantage. The lead topped the 30-point mark for the first time with 10:28 remaining to play.
The Bulldogs put five players in double figures for the second straight game, with Martha Alwal’s 17 points leading the way. Grant followed with 14 points, while Savannah Carter, Ketara Chapel and Williams added 10 each.
JSU received 10 points each from Ayanna Hardy-Fuller and Ekwara Ndongo.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 29 of 64 shots from the field (45.3 percent), 4 of 11 shots from 3-point range (36.4 percent) and 19 of 29 shots from the foul line (65.5 percent). The Tigers hit 12 of 49 shots from the field (24.5 percent), 0 of 2 shots from 3-point range (0.0 percent) and 18 of 28 shots from the foul line (64.3 percent).
MSU held a 51-31 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 17 assists and 22 turnovers, while the Tigers had two assists and 29 turnovers.
MSU resumes its four-game homestand by playing host to New Orleans at 3 p.m. Sunday. Fans are invited to bring their children pregame to Bully’s Kidz Kourt, which offers inflatables and games in Mize Pavilion starting at 2 p.m.
Aggies Blow Away Prairie View A&M
COLLEGE STATION- No. 16 Texas A&M dominated Prairie View A&M to the tune of its second-biggest victory since 2009 in a 76-27 victory.
Jordan Jones had career-highs with 10 assists and five steals, and Courtney Walker had 11 points and eight assists.
“I really thought we were ready to play tonight,” said Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair. “After a couple of misfires, I thought we got into the flow of the game. It starts with the point guard position. That’s two games in a row, Jordan has just gotten her way.”
“I really think we executed well,” said Jones. “We really paid attention to close details like [Assistant] Coach [Bob] Starkey wanted us to, jumped the passing lanes, played their offense pretty well. He basically said take away their first option in their defense, we had to stay focused on their breakdowns.”
The Aggies (2-0) started the game on a 20-2 run, taking a 24-5 lead in just over 10 minutes of play, and did not look back. Texas A&M went on a 14-0 run late in the first half to take a 38-10 lead into the break.
It was the ninth time since the start of the 2012-13 season that the Aggies have held an opponent to 20-or-fewer points in the first half, and the fewest first half points scored by an Aggie opponent since Louisiana Tech scored six on Dec. 12, 2012.
The Aggies went on another large run, this one a 15-0 run, near the start of the second half, and continually increased their lead until the final buzzer.
Texas A&M won its 62nd consecutive non-conference home game against an unranked opponent, and has won 25 of its last 27 against unranked teams. The Aggies have won 14 of their last 15 home openers.
Karla Gilbert led all scorers with 15 points, and Achiri Ade scored 11 points. Both players reached double figures for the second straight game.
This was the largest win for the Aggies since they won 77-26 in the aforementioned Louisiana Tech game in 2012, and the second-largest win for the Aggies since Dec. 8, 2009, when Texas A&M beat North Texas 108-49.
Prairie View A&M (0-2) did not have a player reach double figures, the first time for the Aggies to hold a team to without a double digit scorer since Jan. 20, 2013.
Texas A&M returns to action on Sunday, November 17 at Houston with a 3:30 p.m. tip, but does not return home until Dec. 3 when it hosts San Diego State. The A&M Club of Brazos County is organizing a bus trip to the Houston game. Information can be found here.
Kentucky Cruises Past Georgia Southern in Home Opener
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Bernisha Pinkett's first 3-pointer reminded her that the shot was still there, just requiring more confidence in launching it. Judging from the 3s that followed, the Kentucky senior reserve guard appears to have found comfort zone.
Pinkett scored 19 points, leading six Wildcats in double figures as No. 7 Kentucky rolled to a 103-38 rout of Georgia Southern on Wednesday.
The 65-point margin ranks seventh all-time in Kentucky history; Kentucky's record for points and margin is a 121-44 throttling of Kentucky State on Nov. 24, 1989.
Pinkett posted her highest total since scoring 21 last Nov. 28 against Miami (Ohio).
"It felt pretty good," said Pinkett, who made 3 of 4 from 3-point range and 7 of 9 overall. "I hadn't been knocking down shots like I have been in the past, and coach (Matthew) Mitchell always had faith in me in the end as a shooter.
"Being able to go out there and actually see my 3s starting to fall, I felt pretty good about it."
Playing the morning home opener before about 2,000 enthusiastic sixth graders, the Wildcats (3-0) followed Sunday's 39-point win over Wagner with a 54-point second half against the overpowered Eagles (0-2).
Kentucky thrived on both ends, forcing 35 turnovers and shooting 51 percent to win its first meeting against the Southern Conference member.
Starting guard Kastine Evans added 15 points, DeNesha Stallworth and Linnae Harper each had 13, Samarie Walker added 12 and Azia Bishop had 10 with a team-high 12 rebounds.
Guard Angel McGowan shook off a second-half ankle injury to score 10 points for Georgia Southern, which shot just 26 percent.
"We respect them so much and the things that we had talked about doing, they did not allow us to do," Georgia Southern coach Chris Vozab said.
Kentucky dominated every category, including rebounding (49-35), points in the paint (54-18), fast- break points (22-4) and the bench (58-22). The Wildcats also dominated the Eagles in assists, 26-5; Evans and freshman Makayla Epps each had six.
"We were very mindful of our offensive execution," Mitchell said. "I didn't have to do a lot of talking there, they held themselves to a high standard and were really working hard and tried to do the things we were working on offensively.
"Defensively, what I was so impressed with was the five (Georgia Southern) assists. They couldn't really get the ball passed around very much because we were in such great stances and in good fundamental position on defense in passing lanes. It was a good effort."
Kentucky had finished well in weekend victories at Marist and Wagner to open the season, but Mitchell stressed the need to start better after trailing both opponents. On Wednesday, they looked fresh in completely overwhelming the Eagles despite the mid-morning start.
Kentucky led 10-0 and took a 49-13 advantage at halftime, tying a school record for scoring margin. The defense forced 19 turnovers, resulting in 23 points, and the team shot 49 percent.
Though the Wildcats ran by the Eagles often, they also showed patience by working the ball around before taking shots. Kentucky had several possessions where every player touched the ball before launching an attempt, racking up 11 first-half assists en route to its season high.
Epps said it was especially important to find Pinkett because she was effective, "so I knew she needed the ball in her hand and Azia (Bishop) was hitting shots too, so I knew they needed the ball in their hands."
The fast pace at both ends flustered Georgia Southern, which shot 13 of 50 overall and didn't record a first-half assist.
Also, Georgia Southern lost guard Alexis Sams to a right knee injury late in the first half. McGowan, a freshman who plays with a left knee brace, left briefly in the second half after injuring the ankle but returned to finish 4 of 7 from the field including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Kentucky guard Janee Thompson left for several minutes after being poked in the eye on the Wildcats' first possession. She returned wearing goggles.