Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Mississippi State women’s basketball gave the No. 1 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks all they could handle Sunday, falling 58-51 in front of a crowd of over 5,700. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 12-5 on the year and 1-3 in the SEC.
The Bulldogs continued their elite defense play on Sunday, holding South Carolina to their lowest point total of the season (51), despite the Gamecocks averaging over 85 points per game. This was just the third time this season that the Gamecocks won by single digits. This was the fewest points scored by South Carolina in an SEC game since scoring 57 against Texas A&M on Feb. 28, 2021.
Head coach Sam Purcell continues to preach being an elite defensive unit, and once again, one of the best defenses in the nation was on full display. State held the Gamecocks to their lowest field goal percentage this season (30.3%) and their sixth-lowest total from behind the arc (22%, 4-for-18). State out-blocked the Gamecocks 7-5, with Jessika Carter leading the way with 4 blocked shots. Carter currently leads the SEC in blocked shots.
In the second half, the Gamecocks were held to just 26 points, the lowest in a half this season, and just the second time South Carolina was held to 26 points in a half. State outscored South Carolina 32-28 in the paint. State’s 32 paint points are the second-most that SC has allowed this season. They gave up 40 to Stanford.
JerKaila Jordan led the Bulldogs with 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Following closely behind was Jessika Carter with 11 points and nine rebounds, her fifth consecutive game scoring in double digits. Carter scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter.
With momentum squarely on the side of the Bulldogs in the third quarter and State on an 8-0 run, cutting the deficit to just one (37-36); momentum shifted towards South Carolina as five straight fouls were called on MSU, zero on the Gamecocks, in the final 2:32 of the third. Due to all the stoppage of play during that stretch, South Carolina was able to go on a 6-0 run and extend their lead to seven entering the final quarter.
In the contest, South Carolina won the free throw attempts battle by a staggering 24-5 margin.
- MSU held South Carolina to just 12 points in the first quarter, the fourth fewest points this season scored in the opening quarter.
- Just the fourth time this season that South Carolina has not led after the first quarter
- MSU held SC to 11 points in the third quarter. Both teams scored 15 in the fourth.
- For the third time this season, SC only won by single digits; Stanford lost by five, and UCLA lost by nine
- Zia Cooke shot just 23% from the field, which was her second-lowest of the season
- Aliyah Boston shot 38% from the floor, which was her third-lowest of the season
- Gamecocks only had 20 made field goals, the fewest of the season
- MSU forced 14 TO against South Carolina, which is the 7th highest for SC this season
- Gamecocks only had 11 assists, the fourth-lowest total by them this season (MSU had 12)