No. 6 Mississippi State Rallies
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger thought she had a good scouting report on Mississippi State’s Anriel Howard.
It said the 5-foot-11 forward wasn’t great at making 3-pointers. She made the two she shot.
It said she usually drove to her right. She went left with ease.
When it was over, Howard had finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and was the driving force behind No. 6 Mississippi State’s 87-82 win over No. 18 Marquette on Thursday night.
Kieger was on the losing end of the barrage, but even she was impressed.
“Everything we were saying, she was countering,” Kieger said. “That’s the sign of an All-American. That’s the sign of a great player.”
Mississippi State (9-0) extended its regular-season nonconference winning streak to 45 games, but this was easily one of the toughest games during that stretch. The game was tight throughout the second half and the Bulldogs needed a late defensive stand to earn the win.
Teaira McCowan finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Howard shot 13 of 18 from the field, while McCowan shot 9 of 12. Jazzmun Holmes added 13 assists.
Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer was proud of his team for finding a way to win on “not our best night.” But he was frustrated with his team’s inability to stop the Golden Eagles on defense, especially in transition.
“We needed every point tonight, y’all,” Schaefer said. “I’m sure there were a lot of people who thought that was a great game. But giving up 82 points, 21 fast-break points? Coach probably isn’t going to sleep for a few days.”
Danielle King finished with 27 points for Marquette (6-2), which shot 54 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Chloe Bibby blocked a 3-point attempt by Natisha Hiedeman to seal the win. Hiedeman had 18 points.
Mississippi State closed the second quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 42-38 lead into halftime. Howard had 17 points and eight rebounds in the first half to almost single-handedly carry the Bulldogs. She shot 7 of 8 and five of her rebounds were on the offensive end.
The Bulldogs had problems with Marquette’s speed, and the Golden Eagles capitalized with 10 fast-break points in the first half.
NO. 19 KENTUCKY 75
RHODE ISLAND 52
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Maci Morris scored 29 points and made five 3-pointers for Kentucky.
The Wildcats (9-0) pulled away with a 29-point third quarter that included a 19-2 run. Rhyne Howard added 19 points, seven rebounds and seven steals for Kentucky.
NO. 23 MISSOURI 66, UMKC 59
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sophie Cunningham scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Missouri outscored YMKX 21-0 in the third quarter to win its fourth straight.
Amber Smith added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (7-2). Ericka Mattingly had 20 points for the Kangaroos (2-6).