No. 25 Ole Miss fell behind early and could not find an answer against Mississippi State in the second matchup of the season between the two teams, falling 70-59 from Humphrey Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Despite a season-high outing off the glass from Shakira Austin with 15 rebounds, No. 25 Ole Miss (18-6, 6-5 SEC) could not combat Mississippi State’s (15-8, 6-5) hot shooting. The Bulldogs went on to hit 49 percent of their shots from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Angel Baker paced Ole Miss with another 20-point outing off the bench for her fourth of the season with 21 points. Austin followed this up with a 20 piece of her own, as she added her seventh double-double of the year.
Both programs fired shots back and forth within the first few minutes of play, as MSU found success attacking Ole Miss in the paint. A 7-0 MSU run created a lead by six until a Donnetta Johnson bucket broke a Rebel scoring drought, as the Bulldogs led 16-12 through one.
The strong shooting from MSU carried into the second, as Ole Miss struggled to maintain possession. With Mississippi State leading by 10 midway through the quarter, Ole Miss began to chip away at the deficit with assistance from Austin. Eight straight points from MSU halted the Rebels momentum, as the Bulldogs carried a 35-22 lead through the first half.
Five points from Baker within the third quarter’s first two minutes, sparked an Ole Miss surge to pull within 10. Mississippi State continued to fire back, extending its lead by as many as 15 points in the third. There was still fire remaining as the Rebel hands started to get hot, hitting its last five-of-seven shots of the quarter.
The Rebels closed the gap to 10 yet again, with six minutes remaining until the Bulldogs answered with their fifth of seven triples of the game. Another 7-0 run from Mississippi State, cemented their lead and ultimately the 70-59 win to split the in-state rivalry this season.
Ole Miss heads home to Oxford for a Thursday night showdown against Texas A&M (Feb. 17). Tipoff against the Aggies is slated for 8 p.m. airing nationally on SEC Network.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports