STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State’s Alexis Rack poured in 22 points as the Lady Bulldogs completed a season sweep of LSU, winning 65-55 in a Southeastern Conference women’s basketball game played Sunday afternoon in the Humphrey Coliseum.
The Lady Bulldogs defeated LSU for the sixth time in the program’s history and second time this season. MSU had not beaten LSU in the Humphrey Coliseum since 1995. LSU head coach Van Chancellor, a longtime fixture in the conference and MSU alumnus, fell to 39-3 with this being only his second-ever loss in this building.
The victory also shakes up the conference race. MSU improved to 18-6 overall and 5-4 in league play, while LSU fell to 12-9 and 5-4. MSU, LSU and Georgia are now in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings.
“We really started the game very strong with a lot of focus,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning said. “The mindset was very good. The quick start gave this team a lot of confidence. We did a good job of building off Thursday night’s win.”
MSU did start strong Sunday, opening the contest on a 16-2 run, stretching over the first six minuets of play. The Lady Bulldogs were able to lead by at least eight points the remainder of the contest. A technical foul on the LSU bench came in the midst of a 9-0 run as MSU opened a 27-9 advantage with 5:40 left in the opening half.
LSU converted only 23.1 percent of its shot attempts in the opening half and trailed 27-13 at the intermission.
MSU stretched the lead to a game’s largest, at 37-15 with 16:26 remaining in the game. A 9-0 run then worked the Lady Tigers back into the contest. However, the guests would get no closer than eight points (at 61-53 with 57 seconds left) the remainder of the way.
“Right now, we are pleased at where we are at,” Fanning said. “But we have to continue to work hard to get better. We are still understanding combinations and still understanding the need to execute on every possession of a game. Overall, still proud of the effort, as long as we continue to work hard to get better.”
The Lady Bulldogs hit 22 of 53 shots from the field (41.5 percent), 7 of 19 shots from 3-point range (36.8 percent) and 14 of 16 shots from the foul line (87.5 percent). The Lady Tigers hit 21 of 60 shots from the field (35.0 percent), 5 of 12 shots from 3-point range (41.7 percent) and 8 of 12 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).
LSU held a 38-34 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 15 assists and 15 turnovers, while the Lady Tigers had 11 assists and 17 turnovers.
Rack paced the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points, while Chanel Mokango was also in double figures with 15 points. Robin Porter had a team-high 11 rebounds, while Armelie Lumanu had a season-high 10 assists.
Andrea Kelly paced LSU with 23 points. Allison Hightower added 13 points for the Lady Tigers.
MSU returns to the road Thursday, traveling to Oxford for a showdown with in-state rival Ole Miss. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Rebels tip at 8 p.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum. That contest will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South. MSU returns home for fifth-ranked Auburn at 2 p.m. Sunday