Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Five Bulldogs scored in double-figures to lead Mississippi State women’s basketball to an 84-45 victory over Jacksonville State on Sunday, Nov. 12 inside Humphrey Coliseum.
With the win, Mississippi State improves to 3-0 on the season and 17-2 at home under head coach Sam Purcell. The Bulldogs are also now 11-0 in non-conference regular season home contests in his tenure.
Freshman guard Mjracle Sheppard made her first career start and produced throughout the afternoon, finishing with 14 points, four assists and two steals in the performance. Senior guard JerKaila Jordan posted a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, while graduate student forward/center Jessika Carter added 14 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes.
Graduate student forward Erynn Barnum tied Sheppard with a game-high four assists, in addition to 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
“I want to give credit to my teammates for helping me get ready and being there for me,” said Sheppard. “I felt prepared because of all of the work we have put in at practice and the offseason leading to this moment.”
Mississippi State jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter behind six early points from Jordan.
After the Bulldogs built their initial advantage, the Gamecocks responded in the second quarter by connecting on multiple tough looks at the end of the shot clock. Jacksonville State answered back to its early deficit with an 8-0 run in the late moments before the break to pull the margin back to 33-21 at the half.
The Bulldogs are now 23-1 when leading at half under Purcell.
Following a similar trend in its first two contests, Mississippi State responded right out of the locker room with a 16-0 run that was spark by a suffocating defensive pressure. The Bulldogs extended their margin to 49-21 on a jump shot from sophomore guard Debreasha Powe.
That spark would propel Mississippi State to outscore their visitors 30-13 in the period. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 73-32 in the third quarter through the first three contests.
Mississippi State’s length and defensive pressure in the full court press proved to be the difference in the contest and helped the Bulldogs build their largest lead of the contest at 44, 81-37, with two and a half minutes left in regulation. The Bulldogs forced 17 turnovers on the afternoon, marking their third-straight game with 15 or more turnovers forced.
Mississippi State outscored Jacksonville State 50-12 in the paint and 23-11 off turnovers. The 50 points in the paint are the third-most under Purcell and the most since the Bulldogs recorded 64 against Texas A&M Commerce on Dec. 11, 2022.
The bench added 25 points and all 10 players scored on the afternoon. Senior guard Darrione Rogers led all players off the bench with 10 points on 4-5 from the field and 2-3 from behind the arc.
Mississippi State closes out its four-game homestand when the Bulldogs welcome New Orleans at 11 a.m. Central on Wednesday.