The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Women fall at Auburn

    On Sunday, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs lost on the road to Auburn, 81-61. The loss dropped the team’s overall record to 12-6 and 3-2 in the SEC. The second half doomed the Lady Bulldogs. They were outscored 45-29, shooting only 31 percent from the field, while Auburn shot 50 percent field goals.
    “They had a very quick perimeter game, and we didn’t guard hard on penetration,” said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. Auburn’s senior guard Carol Smith recorded 27 points in the winning effort, and teammate LeCoe Willingham scored 18 points.
    The main advantage for Auburn came in the category of bench scoring. Fifty-seven of State’s 61 points were shared among four starters, but the rest of the team were held to four. In contrast, Auburn’s bench provided 29 of the team’s total points.
    “Shot selection relative to a few more assists could help us,” Fanning said. “Auburn scored significantly from their bench, and we did not have that many points.”
    The loss to Auburn came a few days after one of the best games of the season for the Lady Bulldogs, a victory over eighth-ranked Georgia.
    “I felt like our team would be prepared,” Fanning said. “Beating Georgia should have given us a level of confidence.”
    Free throws were another factor in the game. Auburn shot 75 percent for the game and went 14 of 16 in the second half when they needed to close out the game. Mississippi State shot 59 percent for the game.
    The Tigers also out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 41-30 to help secure the win for Auburn.
    After Thursday night’s home meeting with Arkansas, the Lady Bulldogs will travel to Ole Miss for a rematch. MSU won the first game 82-67 at home.
    In that game, Ole Miss shot only 28 percent from the field and didn’t have a single player score in double digits. It is unlikely that the Rebels will struggle as much at home.
    “We have to have a balanced game,” Fanning said. “We have to continue to play hard defensively, rebound the basketball, take good shots and try to carry over what we did from the first Ole Miss game and take that game to Oxford.”
    The Lady Bulldogs have been a different team at home and on the road this season. The team is 7-1 at home, but 2-5 in away games.
    “We’re trying to eliminate that factor,” said Fanning. “A good team plays well at home. A really good team plays well on the road, and we’re trying to become a really good basketball team.”
    After starting the season with a 5-1 record, Mississippi has struggled lately. The Lady Rebels’ loss to MSU began a losing streak that included a two-point loss to No. 18 Florida.
    The Lady Bulldogs will need to correct mistakes made against Auburn in order to sweep the season series with Ole Miss. The Lady ODawgs will not return home until Feb. 3.

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    Women fall at Auburn