MSU women fall to Missouri in regular season finale

MSU women fall to Missouri in regular season finale
SOURCE: MSU Athletics (Source: MSU Athletics)

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State could not keep up with Missouri’s hot shooting from beyond the arc on Sunday afternoon, as the Bulldogs dropped the regular-season finale 77-57 at Humphrey Coliseum.

“Hats off to Missouri, they came in here and just whipped us,” said head coach Nikki McCray-Penson. “We were not the team that played the last two games. We just have to go back to the drawing board. That’s pretty much all I can say on that end. I thanked our seniors for their sacrifice and commitment. I just thanked them for having a chance to coach them. Obviously, it’s a new season as we go into the SEC Tournament. We have to regroup and get ready for that.”

Missouri (9-10, 5-9 SEC) knocked down 12 3-pointers in the game while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs (10-8, 5-7 SEC) were just 3-of-22 from deep and shot 40 percent from the free throw line.

Mississippi State’s defense forced 18 turnovers in the game behind five steals and five blocks, but MSU was only able to turn that into eight points on the other end of the floor. The Bulldogs won the scoring battle in the paint 42-26 but lost the matchup on the glass 46-31.

Myah Taylor was the lone player to score in double figures for State, finishing with 11 points, three rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. Aliyah Matharu added nine points, six boards and two dimes.

All three players honored for senior day scored a basket in the contest. Yemiyah Morris chipped in eight points on 4-of-4 shooting and grabbed four boards. Sidney Cooks finished with seven points, three assists and two rebounds, while Caterrion Thompson had three points.

Besides Missouri shooting 50 percent from the floor, the Bulldog defense held strong in the first quarter. MSU forced six turnovers in the period and held the Tigers to just one basket during the final four minutes of the frame. However, MSU’s offense had a slow start, allowing Mizzou to take an early 17-12 lead.

The second stanza was all Missouri, as the Tigers knocked down six of their first seven shots and used a 14-2 run to pulled ahead by double digits. Mizzou cooled off with State holding it to 2-of-10 shooting to end the quarter, but the damage from seven 3-pointers in the first half by the Tigers had been done. Missouri entered halftime with a 40-24 lead, as MSU shot 35 percent from the field and was 1-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Missouri extended its lead in the third quarter with a 14-0 run. The Tigers knocked down four more threes to take a 64-40 advantage into the final frame. State outscored Mizzou in the fourth quarter 17-13 and held the Tigers without a field goal for the last 4:56 to close out the game.

Up next, Mississippi State will head to Greenville, South Carolina, to compete in the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State will open play against LSU on Thursday at 10 a.m. CT. The game will be televised on SEC Network and can be streamed on MSU Radio Network.

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