From Special Reports
The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs showed Sunday exactly why they are considered one of the top 10 collegiate women’s basketball teams.
MSU scored 31 points in the first and third quarters, including a 31-8 blitzing of the University of Southern Mississippi in the opening period and rolled to a 91-56 win at Humphrey Coliseum.
“The way that Mississippi State shot the ball in the first I think they could win a national championship,” USM coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. “We tried our zone and our zone didn’t work because of the way they shot it so well. We tried man, and again we were outmatched, but we knew that coming in.
“We didn’t start well. It was like we were shaking in our shoes. They put us in situations that created easy opportunities for them.”
The Lady Eagles (3-1), who saw a three-game winning streak snapped, had only two players score 10 points or more. Junior guard Megan Brown had 11 points, while sophomore guard Shonte Hailes had 10 points, five assists and two steals.
MSU (3-0) put four players in double figures, led by 29 points from senior guard Roshunda Johnson. Six-foot-seven junior center Tiera McCowan had 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots, senior guard Victoria Vivans added 15 points and five assists and senior guard Blair Schaefer had 10 points.
Senior point guard Morgan William handed out nine assists, while junior guard Jazzmun Holmes came off the bench for eight points and seven assists.
The Lady Bulldogs forced USM into 26 turnovers and out-rebounded the Lady Eagles 44 to 28.
MSU led 48-26 at halftime and 79-42 after three quarters.
Sophomore forward Respect Leaphart made her first career start and finished with four points, four rebounds and an assist. Senior guard Molly Brown finished with eight points, with six points coming on two, 3-pointers.
The Lady Eagles return to Green Coliseum at 6 p.m. Friday for first-round game against Alcorn State University in the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic. USM will face Alabama State University at 4 p.m. Saturday in two-day tournament.