STARKVILLE, Miss. – Martha Alwal scored 19 points and hauled in nine boards, and Kendra Grant added 13 as Mississippi State knocked off Southern Mississippi 71-61 at Humphrey Coliseum Saturday night.
The win improved the Bulldogs to 10-1 on the season, while Southern Miss fell to 6-2 overall.
The Bulldogs used tough defense, forcing 28 Golden Eagle turnovers and converting them into 27 points.
Mississippi State used 12 points from Alwal and 11 from Grant to take a 42-32 halftime lead they would never relinquish.
In the second half, Mississippi State answered every Southern Miss challenge.
The Golden Eagles cut the lead to seven, 63-56, with 4:32 to play, but Mississippi State responded with four Dominique Dillingham free throws, two more by Savannah Carter and a layup by Alwal to push the lead back to double digits.
Dillingham added her third-straight double-figure scoring game with 12 points, and Breanna Richardson added 11 points to go with seven rebounds.
State shot 39 percent (23-59) from the field and 24-34 (70.6 percent) from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs claimed a 39-31 rebounding edge.
The Golden Eagles shot 44.2 percent (19-43) from the field, 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Tamara Jones paced USM with 27 points, and Jerontay Clemons added 17.
The Bulldogs hit the road for the final time in 2013 Tuesday, making the program’s first trek to North Dakota to face North Dakota State in a 7 p.m. CT tip in Fargo.
(From MSU Media Relations)