No. 6 MSU wins tight contest against No. 18/15 Marquette

By  | 

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) - Anriel Howard and Teaira McCowan each collected double-doubles as No. 6 Mississippi State survived a huge challenge from No. 18 Marquette, shooting its way to an 87-82 victory in women’s basketball action Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU (9-0) beat its second straight ranked opponent by shooting 49.3 percent from the field and enjoying a plus-13 rebounding advantage.

The Bulldogs won their 45th straight non-conference game in regular season play. MSU also extended it home win streak to 26 straight, the third longest active home win streak in the nation.

“What a heck of a game,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “Want to commend Marquette for coming in here and playing unfazed. It was a tremendous game. Proud of us for finding a way when it was not our best night. Anriel had an unbelievable night. (Teaira) goes for another double-double. They were special tonight.

“We are a long way from being a finished product. Tonight, we had some rough edges that were exposed, but we made enough plays, got enough rebounds, made enough stops there at the end.”

Howard collected her second double-double on the season with an MSU-career-high 29 points and 12 rebounds. McCowan collected her seventh double-double this season with 24 points and 18 rebounds.

Jordan Danberry added 13 points. Jazzmun Holmes had a career-high 13 assists, while matching her career high with two blocked shots.

Overall, the Bulldogs finished with eight blocks and five steals. However, the squad did give up 21 fast-break points.

The contest was tight throughout with eight ties and 25 lead changes.

The Bulldogs scored six straight points to lead 15-11 late in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Howard ran the lead to 20-15. The Golden Eagles, however, shot 10-of-14 from the field for a 23-22 lead after one quarter.

The home team scored four straight points to open the second quarter. Again, the contest swung back-and-forth as the Golden Eagles answered with nine straight points to take a 38-30 lead.

Marquette was then held scoreless over the final 2:53 of the quarter. The Bulldogs scored the final 12 points of the half to take a 42-38 lead at halftime. A 3-pointer by Bibby highlighted the run and gave the Bulldogs a 40-38 lead.

The lead was again swapped a couple of times early in the third quarter. An 8-0 run gave the Golden Eagles a 62-55 lead, but the Bulldogs then battled back to hold a 63-62 lead to end the period.

After another hard-fought fourth quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with 1:43 to play on a basket in the lane by McCowan to make the score 80-79.

A layup by Bibby ran the lead to 85-82 with 13 seconds left. Holmes made two free throws, and Bibby picked up a block to close the game with an 87-82 edge.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 33 of 67 shots from the field (49.3 percent), 4 of 11 shots from 3-point range (36.4 percent) and 17 of 20 shots from the foul line (85.0 percent). The Golden Eagles hit 33 of 61 shots from the field (54.1 percent), 8 of 21 shots from 3-point range (38.1 percent) and 8 of 11 shots from the foul line (72.7 percent).

MSU held a 40-27 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 21 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had 13 assists and 15 turnovers.

Marquette (6-2) received 27 points from Danielle King, 18 points from Natisha Hiedeman, 17 points from Allazia Blockton and 10 points from Amani Wilborn. Wilborn had a double-double as she also collected a team-high 10 rebounds.

MSU will take a week off for final examinations before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 14 for a 6 p.m. start against in-state foe Southern Miss in Hattiesburg.