WVU Women Stun Miss. State
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — More than five years had passed since Mississippi State had lost a game at Humphrey Coliseum to a team outside of the SEC.
That 45-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Sunday.
Boosted by a dominant rebounding performance and helped by Mississippi State’s rough free throw shooting, West Virginia topped the No. 10 Bulldogs 71-65 in front of more than 7,000 fans in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Bulldogs’ last nonconference loss at home came in 2014 when they dropped a game to South Florida in the semifinals of the WNIT. That was two years prior to their run to two Final Fours and consecutive SEC championships.
“I’m very proud of our players because we really haven’t put it together this year. I thought at times we had some rhythm,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said. “That’s a good thing to see because we’re going to play some teams with the same style.”
Kirsten Deans banked in a tiebreaking 3-pointer with just over a minute left to put the Mountaineers (6-1) ahead for good. Deans had 17 points.
Kysre Gondrezick added 16 points, Tynice Martin had 13 and Kari Niblack had 12 for West Virginia.
The Bulldogs made just 15 of 30 foul shots.
Mississippi State, outrebounded 51-31 in losing its previous game to Stanford, was beaten on the board 46-34 by the Moutaineers.
“I thought they were the tougher team today,” Bulldogs head coach Vic Schaefer said of the Mountaineers. “That is a hard-nosed, veteran team. We just got taken to the woodshed. It’s a great lesson to learn.”
West Virginia took a 10-point lead late in the second quarter and led 36-28 at halftime.
The Bulldogs went on a 14-3 run in outscoring the Mountaineers 27-13 in the third quarter for a 55-49 advantage.
“I thought at the start of the third quarter when they got that lead, our girls didn’t quit. You’ve just got to stay in the game,” Carey said. “If your defense keeps you in the game and gets rebounds, you can stay in the game.”
Jordan Danberry had 19 points and six rebounds for Mississippi State and freshman Rickea Jackson had 15 points and a season-best nine rebounds. Jessika Carter had 11 points and eight rebounds.