TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State women’s basketball came up short against Alabama, 71-63, on the road at Coleman Coliseum on Sunday.
The Bulldogs (8-7, 3-6 SEC) ended the game on an 11-1 run and outscored the Crimson Tide (15-6, 8-6 SEC) 38-33 in the second half, but a double-digit halftime deficit was too much to overcome for State. Mississippi State won the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Tide 45-34, but Alabama came out on top in the scoring battle down low 40-34.
The two areas that turned out to be costly for the Bulldogs was turnovers and free throw percentage. For the game, State turned the ball over 16 times which directly translated to 22 points on the other end for Alabama. Mississippi State did a good job of getting to the free throw line, but the team converted on just 7-of-18 from the charity stripe.
Rickea Jackson led MSU in scoring with 18 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Jessika Carter recorded her seventh double-double of the season behind 11 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and one block. Aliyah Matharu rounded out the double-digit scorers for State with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals.
The Crimson Tide was fueled on both ends of the floor by the trio of Jasmine Walker, Ariyah Copeland and Jordan Lewis. Walker notched 20 points and nine boards, while Copeland chipped in 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Lewis added 15 points of her own.
The Bulldogs had a slow start to the game offensively, shooting 4-of-20 from the field in the first quarter. Alabama used an 11-0 run to pulled ahead early, but Carter scored the final six points of the period to cut State’s deficit to 19-11.
Mississippi State started to find a groove in the second stanza, knocking down all three of its shots from beyond the arc and shooting 42 percent from the floor in the period. However, the Crimson Tide defense continued to turn the Bulldogs over, forcing 11 turnovers in the half that led to 16 points for Alabama. UA entered halftime with a 38-25 lead.
For the half, State shot just 28 percent from the field while Alabama converted on 47 percent of its attempts. Carter, Jackson and Myah Taylor each recorded six points in the half to lead the Bulldogs in scoring.
State attacked the paint a lot in the third quarter, but Alabama knocked down three 3-pointers in the period to extend its lead to 55-40 going into the final frame. Carter had five points and four boards in the stanza.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Crimson Tide 23-16 in the frame, but Alabama made six straight baskets during one stretch to hold off any late rally. Jackson scored 10 points of her 18 points in the period. For the game, Mississippi State shot 38 percent from the floor compared to Alabama’s 48 percent shooting.
Up next, Mississippi State will return home to host Auburn at Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT. After that, the Bulldogs will travel to LSU on Thursday and then cap the regular season at home on Sunday against Missouri.