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Lady Bulldogs hold off upset-minded Tigers

Leaning on freshman Rickea Jackson's 22, the Bulldogs avoid the upset against Auburn.

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 10:51 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- A week after having to overcome a fourth quarter deficit at Vanderbilt, No. 9 Mississippi State was in trouble once again Thursday at home against Auburn.

With freshman Rickea Jackson scoring 18 of her season-high 22 points in the second half, No. 9 Mississippi State rallied to beat Auburn 78-73 Thursday night.

It was a continuation of a week's worth of less-than-stellar play for coach Rick Schaefer's squad. It's something he said he has sensed building.

"If I say I'm disappointed, I'd be taking credit away from Auburn. We were just standing around and (Auburn) played hard so it really makes you look bad," Schaefer said. "I thought we played really uninspired and it's been that way since the South Carolina game."

Auburn, on the other hand, came out ready to play. The Tigers came in ranked 12th in the Southeastern Conference in 3-point shooting but made 5 of 6 in the first half.

With starting center Jessika Carter in foul trouble, Jackson made 10 of 14 shots from the field for the Bulldogs (19-3, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) .

"Coach Schaefer kind of got me fired up during the halftime talk. He just told me that I had to play harder and bring more energy," Jackson said. "I knew I needed to do that for my teammates."

Auburn (7-12, 1-7 SEC) led 40-33 at halftime and bumped that lead to nine points within the first minute of the second half. The Bulldogs quickly came alive with a basket and foul shot from Carter that sparked a 9-0 run and tied the game.

"We gave up 40 points in a half. It's just awful," Schaefer said. "We stood around and accommodated them in the zone. I was just disappointed. Sometimes you've got to grow up a little bit. You've got to own it. Either you're going to grow, or you're not."

Mississippi State ultimately outscored Auburn 27-13 in the third quarter to take a 60-53 lead and Jackson had 10 points in that frame.

After leading the way in the third, Jackson came up big again in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs' nine-point lead shrunk to two points on several occasions, but the freshman scored eight straight to help withstand the challenge.

"She killed us," Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Unique (Thompson) was right there, but Rickea Jackson was over there like she was playing in a video game. She really helped them a lot. She's one of the best players here."

The Tigers pulled to within 71-69 with 3:27 remaining before Mississippi State clamped down defensively. The Bulldogs didn't allow a field goal for more than four minutes.

Thompson had a big night with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Daisa Alexander scored 20 points and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers.

Carter and Jordan Danberry had 13 points each and combined to go 10 of 14 from the field for Mississippi State. Danberry had six rebounds and five assists.

BIG PICTURE

Auburn: The Tigers took No. 13 Kentucky to the wire last week before falling 68-61 and did the same to the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State: For the second time in three games, MSU went into the fourth quarter in a close ball game against a team with a losing conference record. The Bulldogs also struggled on the road at Vanderbilt last Thursday.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State: Hosts Georgia on Sunday.

Auburn: Hosts Vanderbilt on Sunday

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 66646

Reported Deaths: 1874
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5599118
DeSoto363230
Harrison249836
Madison241464
Rankin227633
Jackson226942
Jones188558
Forrest177856
Washington164641
Lee142839
Lauderdale140792
Neshoba128592
Lamar120214
Oktibbeha111838
Bolivar110834
Warren108932
Lowndes107437
Panola105412
Sunflower102425
Scott99820
Lafayette96416
Copiah95028
Pike92836
Leflore92562
Holmes89048
Grenada84321
Yazoo82912
Pontotoc8218
Lincoln80941
Simpson79530
Leake78625
Monroe77853
Wayne76421
Coahoma74312
Tate72028
Marshall6889
Marion65720
Union62716
Winston62016
Adams61725
Covington61213
George5595
Newton54211
Pearl River54038
Tallahatchie53010
Attala52125
Walthall49819
Chickasaw45920
Noxubee45311
Alcorn4195
Calhoun4179
Prentiss41710
Tishomingo4095
Claiborne40413
Smith40413
Clay39413
Hancock38814
Jasper3879
Tippah36013
Itawamba35810
Tunica3337
Clarke32625
Montgomery3213
Lawrence3197
Yalobusha31310
Humphreys29111
Quitman2621
Carroll26111
Greene24111
Kemper23214
Perry2327
Jefferson Davis2316
Amite2306
Webster22812
Wilkinson20513
Sharkey1975
Jefferson1957
Stone1944
Benton1431
Choctaw1334
Franklin1242
Issaquena261
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12969243
Mobile9836206
Montgomery6609148
Madison531433
Tuscaloosa419073
Unassigned356061
Baldwin350224
Shelby326035
Marshall313035
Lee266045
Morgan236918
Etowah210431
DeKalb179813
Calhoun176113
Elmore171538
Walker152064
Houston138612
Russell13582
St. Clair132817
Dallas131823
Limestone131813
Franklin127020
Cullman122012
Colbert117113
Lauderdale115717
Autauga108621
Escambia107516
Talladega100913
Jackson9684
Tallapoosa85479
Chambers84038
Dale82723
Blount7884
Chilton7886
Butler75836
Coffee7566
Covington73420
Pike7037
Clarke6629
Barbour5735
Lowndes57124
Marion57024
Marengo55315
Hale47326
Bullock46311
Winston45011
Perry4404
Bibb4265
Wilcox42610
Monroe4194
Randolph39610
Pickens3929
Conecuh38810
Washington38612
Sumter36018
Lawrence3481
Macon33414
Crenshaw3143
Choctaw28112
Cherokee2707
Henry2593
Geneva2570
Clay2525
Greene25011
Lamar2202
Fayette2045
Cleburne1261
Coosa1012
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