STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State women’s basketball team dominated Bethune-Cookman in the middle two quarters to tame the Wildcats 94-53 Monday evening at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (4-0) led 21-14 after the first quarter, with neither team getting off to a quick start. MSU showed great defensive play and rebounding hustle in the second quarter, ending the session on a 13-0 run, and outscoring the Wildcats (1-4) 24-6. The six points scored by Bethune-Cookman was the lowest point total in a quarter allowed by the Bulldogs so far this season.
The halftime total was 45-20 in favor of MSU, and the Bulldogs continued to dominate on both sides of the ball in third quarter action. MSU doubled up the Wildcats in the third by a 24-12 margin, building a 69-32 advantage. Both teams scored at will in the fourth quarter, leading to a one-sided final margin of 94-53 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Sophomore guard JerKaila Jordan continues to shine offensively. Jordan led MSU in scoring with 20 points, making 7 of 12 field goal attempts and 3 of 7 on 3-pointers.
Four other Bulldogs scored in double digits as well. Junior forward Rickea Jackson, redshirt senior guard Anastasia Hayes, freshman forward Denae Carter and junior guard Aislynn Hayes scored 17, 14, 13and 11 points, respectively. Redshirt senior guard Myah Taylor paced the Bulldogs attack, dishing out seven assists with zero turnovers in 24 minutes. Graduate forward Raven Farley also set a team season-high with 13 rebounds.
MSU had its best shooting night of the young season with a 48.1% field goal percentage for the game. The Bulldogs continue to put defensive pressure on their opponents, forcing 21 Wildcat turnovers, earning a 12-4 advantage in steals, and dominating the post with 12 blocks to just five for Bethune-Cookman.
The Bulldogs continued to struggle at the charity stripe, making just seven of their 18 attempts. MSU has made 52 of 96 free throws on the season for a 54.2% rate, which ranks next to last in the Southeastern Conference.
MSU had a successful season-opening homestand, coming from behind to beat one NCAA Tournament-caliber team in South Dakota State and dominating its other opponents. MSU is still putting great pressure on its opponents, regularly causing turnovers, claiming steals and making blocks.
The Bulldogs have shown hustle from game start to the final horn in all four games. Interim head coach Doug Novak has demonstrated that he has a sense of how to adjust the lineup to take advantage of these tenacious defenders and sensational scorers. The free throw shooting must improve for the Bulldogs to compete in close games that are expected in upcoming invitational play and the SEC season.
Next up, the Bulldogs travel to Daytona, Florida, for the Daytona Beach Invitational. MSU will tip off against the Dayton Flyers (3-1) at on Thursday at 11 a.m. CT and against the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines (5-0) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT. These two games will be airing on FloSports.