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

MSU women’s basketball faces unexpected challenges from Florida Gators

Aniyah Mills

Coming off a five-game win streak, the Mississippi State University women’s basketball team found themselves climbing a mountain of success. However, a 90-70 loss to the Florida Gators Sunday turned the peak and added a fourth conference loss to the Bulldogs’ record.

Before tipoff, center Jessika Carter was recognized with a pre-game ceremony for hitting 1,000 career rebounds. Because of this achievement, Carter is now third in MSU history with 1,024 rebounds. Starting off the game with this recognition, Carter took a turn for the worst within the first five minutes and shocked fans and the team.

After Carter appeared to be in pain on the court, she was escorted to the locker room and her absence made a huge impact as the rest of the team struggled to keep up momentum for the remainder of the game. During the post-game press conference, head coach Sam Purcell gave more details about Carter’s condition.

“I think that first quarter was crazy. We jumped on them early, and then she went down and I thought she got hit in the eyes so I ran out on the court and it was her ankle,” Purcell said. “We taped it up harder, and then again the kid is a warrior. For the minutes she plays she does 29 minutes on a hard taped ankle.”

Aside from the issue of Carter’s ankle, the entire team had a hard time competing with Florida’s offense. UF made over half of its throws and brought an intensity to the court that took the Bulldogs by surprise.

“It was just one of those games, but ultimately, as a team, we weren’t good,” Purcell said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Florida. I mean, they shot 63 percent so no matter where you went–man, zone, it didn’t mater. They were just hitting shots and they were taking it right as us.”

This was simply an unfortunate game for MSU. Although the team gave it all they had, what the Gators brought to the game surpassed the Bulldogs’ 100%. Purcell took ownership of the loss and admitted that Florida played better.

“It was just one of those nights where it wasn’t our night and that’s what you’re going to learn about me,” Purcell said. “I’m never gonna make excuses and I’m gonna give a lot of credit to Florida because I thought they were the tougher team and they made the tougher plays.”

Purcell addressing the loss in this way displayed the humility and leadership he models for the team. Sunday was simply an off night for the lady Bulldogs. However, having a few days to breathe and regroup before another matchup will help the Bulldogs get back into a winner mentality.

“We got to stay the course we need to get rest because the SEC is a long period. This is a great time for a by week and then I need to see an energetic group when I come back here on Wednesday,” Purcell said.

Next, the Bulldogs will head to Oxford in hopes of taking down rival Ole Miss Sunday at 3 p.m.

About the Contributor
Kensi Brandenburg
Kensi Brandenburg, Staff Writer
Kensi Brandenburg is a sophomore communication major. Kensi is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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