21-0 start carries No. 6 Mississippi St women past LSU 68-35
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Andra Espinoza-Hunter scored 16 points, Teaira McCowan had 13 points and 20 rebounds and No. 6 Mississippi State scored the first 21 points of the game Thursday night in coasting to a 68-35 win over LSU.
It is the fewest points Mississippi State has ever allowed in a Southeastern Conference game.
Espinoza-Hunter scored the first eight points of the game, the Bulldogs went 7 of 10 from the field and the Tigers missed their first 12 shots and had six turnovers before Yasmine Bidikuindila scored with 1:57 to play in the first quarter
Jordan Danberry added 12 points for the Bulldogs (20-1, 8-0 SEC), who have won 10-straight this season and 24-straight conference games. McCowan reached 20 rebounds for the fourth time this season and 10th time in her career.
Mercedes Brooks had 11 points for LSU (12-8, 3-5), which had its lowest point total of the season, largest margin of defeat by 10 points, and worst shooting night by far. The Tigers had not shot below 36 percent all season but finished at 21 percent (12 of 57).
The game was decided quickly has Espinoza-Hunter had 10 points and McCown seven before LSU scored. The Bulldogs were 7 of 11 from the field with two 3-pointers and 6 of 9 from the line, while LSU went 2 of 15 to trail 22-4 at the end of one quarter. The four points were the fewest in a quarter this season for the LSU offense and Mississippi State defense.
MSU led 38-13 at the half and had an 18-0 run in the third quarter, which ended with the score 59-21.
LSU did not hit a 3-pointer until the fourth quarter, when the Tigers outscored MSU — which went 4 of 19 and missed six 3s — 14-9. LSU also had 18 turnovers and just three assists and were 9 of 17 from the foul line.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs offense sputtered after the blistering start, the 68 points behind well shy of their nation-leading average of 90.4. They also lead in SEC in shooting at better than 50 percent but shot 42 percent against the Tigers, 39 percent in the second half, 21 percent in the fourth quarter. A league-best plus-16.6 in rebounds, MSU only had a 45-40 edge against LSU.
LSU: The offense wasn’t there but give the defense some credit for holding the Bulldogs down. They only allow 54.8 points a game, which is 12th in the nation.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs go to Alabama on Sunday
LSU: The Tigers face Missouri on Monday.