Monday, 26 August, 2019

Numbers favor Kentucky by 7 points at Mississippi State

Ashton Hagans hopes to disrupt Mississippi State’s offense again Ashton Hagans hopes to disrupt Mississippi State’s offense again
Cary Erickson | 12 February, 2019, 12:25

Three years later, the Bulldogs are making victories over the Lady Volunteers a habit.

The way the Bulldogs looked Sunday, especially with their 30-point fourth quarter, it's clear they can play with anyone. Teaira McCowan had 24 points and 15 rebounds and Jordan Danberry added 20 points as the Bulldogs earned their biggest margin of victory in the series in front of 10,021 fans at Humphrey Coliseum.

"I'm very proud of my team", Schaefer said.

Tennessee (15-7, 4-5 SEC) plays its second game in a row on the road, as it travels to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on No. 6/6 Mississippi State (21-1, 9-0 SEC) on Sunday.

For those not so familiar with women's basketball, this is the same Tennessee program that has won eight national championships and a combined 35 SEC championships - the same Tennessee that had won 37 of 41 previous games against Mississippi State.

A 13-0 spurt in the first three minutes of the final quarter sealed the victory.

Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

MSU opened the fourth going four of five from the floor while UT went cold, hitting just one of three in the opening two minutes. "Man, they were special today".

Mississippi State (16-7, 4-6) led 17-15 midway through the first half, but Tyler Herro nailed a contested 3-pointer to give Kentucky the lead. She was the main reason the game was close early.

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Mississippi State (22-1, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) led 25-17 after one quarter and 40-34 at halftime.

"(They are a) veteran team", Warlick said of MSU. "I tried my best but she had the hot hand". They are physical and they attack those boards as good as anybody I have seen in a long time.

Sophomores Evina Westbrook (16.0) and Rennia Davis (14.0) lead the way in scoring average, followed by senior Meme Jackson (12.0) and freshman Zaay Green (10.2).

Schaefer said he would have preferred to have flipped the script that has MSU ending the SEC regular with seven consecutive games, including four at home, but he said it is what it is and the Bulldogs will have to go get it.

Mississippi State took advantage of Westbrook's absence.

Center Kasiyahna Kushkituah scored in double figures in four of her first five games this season before a knee injury forced her to miss three games and limited her mobility in the next 11 outings.

PJ Washington scored 23 points, Keldon Johnson added 13 and No. 5 Kentucky held on to beat Mississippi State 71-67 on Saturday.

Tennessee struggled with Mississippi State's combination of size and speed. "We had two pretty good days of practice (Tuesday and Wednesday) and we shot for an hour (Thursday) and had a good workout (Friday) and I hope we will have another good one (Saturday) and get ready for Sunday". Eight of those came in the fourth quarter.

Mississippi State: Any thoughts that the Bulldogs' offense was sputtering were put to rest on Sunday. The Bulldogs are averaging 88 points per game, which ranks second nationally. They'll have some things to get fixed on that end as they prepare to host LSU and Tennessee over the next week.