Mississippi State

Mississippi State concludes season at Penn State in WBIT quarterfinals

Credit: Mississippi State Athletics

Box Score

In a contest that included 10 lead changes and eight ties, Mississippi State fell to Penn State 92-87 in the WBIT quarterfinals inside Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday. 

Jerkaila Jordan finished with a career-high 36 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes. Graduate student center Jessika Carter added 21 points on 8-9 from the field with eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

The 36 points from Jordan are the most points scored by any Mississippi State individual in a non-NCAA Tournament event in program history. The career-high from Jordan passed 34 points from LaToya Thomas in the 2001 WNIT. 

Mississippi State concludes the season with a 23-12 record. The Bulldogs have recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons in as many seasons under head coach Sam Purcell.  

Mississippi State secured a 10-8 lead at the initial media timeout with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Mississippi State then took its largest lead of the contest at 18-12 on a steal and finish from freshman guard Mjracle Sheppard

In a back-and-forth first quarter, graduate student forward Erynn Barnum beat her defender on a rip drive move and finished inside with 30 seconds left in the frame to retake a 22-21 lead. The Mississippi State defense forced a shot clock violation on the other end to keep the lead after the first 10 minutes. 

With the clock winding down before the half, Jordan stole the ball and beat the buzzer to tie the game at 38 entering the locker room. Mississippi State turned in 16 points in the paint in the opening 20 minutes.

A 5-0 run that was capped off by an and-one finish from Carter pushed the Mississippi State margin to 47-42 at the 7:08 mark of the third quarter. After Penn State took the lead for the majority of the third quarter, freshman forward Quanirah Montague knocked down a pair of free throws to take a 56-55 lead. 

Jordan knocked down one of two from the line to tie the game at 59 with 56.4 seconds left in the third quarter. Penn State responded with a quick five points on its next two possessions to command a 64-59 lead into the fourth quarter. 

Penn State scored on its first five possessions of the fourth quarter to open a double-digit lead. Mississippi State never blinked and answered back with a 17-7 run over the next five minutes to cut the deficit to one possession at 83-80 with 1:28 minutes left in regulation. Penn State scored an and-one finish late in the shot clock on its next possession to push it back to two possessions and hold off the late comeback attempt until the eventual final.

Mississippi State forced 14 turnovers and turned it into 16 points in the contest.  

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