STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State women’s basketball team avenged January’s loss to the hated Ole Miss Rebels, controlling Sunday’s game in front of a raucous Humphrey Coliseum crowd to the tune of a 70-59 victory. The Bulldogs (15-8) are now 6-5 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Rebels fell to 18-6 (6-5 SEC).
MSU dominated the early action, with tough defense stifling the Ole Miss attack. The Bulldogs notched a 16-12 lead after the first quarter. MSU took control with a 19-10 scoring margin in the second quarter, owning a 35-22 advantage at halftime. Ole Miss never closed to within a single-digit deficit the rest of the game. The Bulldogs managed to answer every Ole Miss run with a quick bucket, including making multiple long banked shots as the shot clock expired.
Sophomore center Charlotte Kohl fouled out early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs managed to capture enough rebounds to keep Ole Miss at bay. Although the Rebels held a 40-26 rebounding advantage, the Bulldogs held a 18-15 margin in points off turnovers and 19-11 advantage in turnovers.
Redshirt senior guard Anastasia Hayes led the Bulldog offense once again with 21 points, adding four rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard JerKaila Jordan added 20 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Redshirt senior guard Myah Taylor added 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Senior center Shakira Austin had a double-double for the Rebels with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bulldogs now stand as one of the last four teams projected into the NCAA Tournament by multiple sporting outlets. MSU can secure a tournament spot with a strong finish to its SEC season. The Bulldogs face tough upcoming tests against No. 11 LSU and No. 12 Tennessee in addition to Kentucky and Arkansas.