Mississippi State

Carter leads Mississippi State over TCU In WBIT second round

Credit: Mississippi State Athletics

By: Elizabeth Keen

STARKVILLE — Behind eight fourth-quarter points from graduate student center Jessika Carter, Mississippi State overcame a late comeback attempt and pushed ahead in final minutes of action to defeat TCU, 68-61, in the WBIT Second Round inside Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday. 

Mississippi State improves to 23-11 overall this season and advances to the WBIT Quarterfinals next Thursday. Mississippi State awaits its next opponent and site based on the result of No. 1 seed Penn State against No. 5 seed Belmont on Monday. If Belmont prevails, Mississippi State will host the Quarterfinals inside Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday, but if Penn State advances Mississippi State will be on the road. 

Carter made the fourth quarter her own, turning in eight of the 22 points in the final frame. She also drew a crucial charge in a tie game with just over three minutes remaining and added a pair of free throws that pushed the Bulldogs ahead by four with 2:11 minutes left in regulation. 

Carter led the team in points, rebounds and blocks with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 33 minutes, while graduate student guard Lauren Park-Lane added eight points and dished out eight assists in 36 minutes. 

Senior guard Jerkaila Jordan added 15 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists in 29 minutes. Jordan raced out to a quick start with 11 points, four rebounds and three steals in the first half.

Mississippi State converted on 53.3 percent from the field in the initial frame to secure a 17-13 after the first quarter. With the score tied at 13, the freshman guard pair of Jasmine Brown-Hagger and Mjracle Sheppard closed out the first quarter with consecutive steals and lay ins. 

Carter recorded seven of her nine first-half points in the second quarter. She went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the period and added five rebounds before the halftime buzzer.

Defensively, the Bulldogs limited the Horned Frogs to a 38.5 percent from the field in the first half and forced 11 turnovers, seven of which came on steals. TCU was only able to score from the floor on five of its 15 second-half possessions. The Bulldogs never trailed in the half and built a lead by as many as 10 points before taking a 36-28 margin into the locker room. 

Park-Lane scored the first four points of the second half for Mississippi State. Following a steal off the inbound pass from Jordan, Jordan found senior guard Darrione Rogers cutting for two more that opened the largest lead of the contest for Mississippi State at 42-31 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. 

Following the Mississippi State run, TCU answered back with a spark of its own and took its first lead of the contest with 2:42 minutes left in the third quarter on a 12-0 run over the course of nearly five minutes of action. Mississippi State responded back to take a one-possession lead entering the fourth, 46-45. 

When her name was called, Jordan once again answered the call. In an isolation set, Jordan beat her defender and knocked down a jumper from the paint to put Mississippi State back ahead by two possessions with 28 seconds left in regulation. Sophomore guard Debreasha Powe came up with the game-ending steal and added a pair of free throws in the final second to secure the win. 

Mississippi State forced 18 turnovers on 11 steals and turned it into 19 points. Mississippi State also outscored TCU 34-16 in the paint.

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