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.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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