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November 13, 2012STARKVILLE, Miss., - Friday night Mississippi State started the Vic Schaefer era with a win.
Monday however the Lady Bulldogs weren't as lucky. 23 turnovers and shooting less than 30-percent from the floor resulted in a 56-48 loss to Hampton.
"I think you have to take your hat off to Hampton," Schaefer said. "I thought they were well prepared and took the fight to us, especially at the guard position. They really dictated what we were able to do offensively with their pressure."
The Lady Pirates forced 16 turnovers and held MSU to just 5-of-25 shooting from the floor in the first half. Hampton also hit the glass outrebounding the Lady Bulldogs 44-29 including 21 offensive boards for the game.
"We had 16 (turnovers) in the first half and that's a lot of shots and points that we could have had and we didn't even get a chance to shoot," said MSU senior guard Darriel Gaynor. "We need to make sure we execute our offense. That's our fault. We beat ourselves, turned the ball over with silly turnovers that could have been points."
The Lady Pirates shot 34.5-percent for the game led by a strong outing from Keiara Avant. The senior forward scored 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting and pulled down 16 rebounds in the process.
"(Avant) is a monster and we knew that going in," Schafer said. "That kid plays. She got 19 (points) and 16 (rebounds) again. She had a big night against Southern Miss on Friday night. Her motor runs at a high level and you have to take your hat off to that kid."
Alyssa Bennett and Nicole Hamilton each added 14 points for Hampton as they improved to 2-0 on the year.
The Lady Pirates went on a 14-3 run to end the first half including a tip-in basket at the buzzer taking a 26-18 lead into the locker room.
Hampton went on to push that advantage out to 12 by the 9:14 mark of the second half before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 10-0 over the next five minutes to cut the lead to a basket.
But the Lady Pirates were able to bury their only 3-pointer of the game at that point and began to pull back ahead for the victory.
"We were down 12 and I don't think anybody in the gym thought we'd be able to get back," Schaefer said. "But we got it back and had a chance to take the lead. You have to tip your hat to our kids for not quitting, hanging in there and competing. When we got back in it we were getting to the rim, getting fouled and going to the (foul) line. These kids are learning how to compete and tonight was certainly a lesson."
State finished just 13-of-44 from the field and made just one trey in the second half as they fell to 1-1 on the year.
"We set the game back 20-years offensively tonight," Schaefer said.
Martha Alwal scored 11 of her 13 points from the free throw line and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs in both categories.
Kendra Grant added 11 points including a pair of 3-pointers while Gaynor chipped in 10 points.
Mississippi State will be back in action Friday night hosting Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m.
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