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December 20, 2012STARKVILLE, Miss., - Sometimes playing against a winless opponent this late into the season can lead to a lackluster effort.
Mississippi State's starters found out quickly that new head coach Vic Schaefer simply will not tolerate that type of performance. The Lady Bulldogs fell behind by 12 in the first half but rallied behind their bench to claim a 69-54 win over 0-12 Jacksonville State Thursday night.
Schaefer yanked four of his starters (save Kendra Grant) following the opening tipoff and received 36 points from his bench as MSU won its fifth straight outing at Humphrey Coliseum.
"Obviously tonight we weren't ready when the lights came on," Schaefer said. "I'm extremly disappointed in that. It's a typical distraction game. It's the last game before you go home for Christmas. If you're not focused you can get (a game) like that. I thought we looked like we were looking for the presents under the Christmas tree instead of our post players in the hole."
Sophomore Shamia Robinson provided that spark off the bench for the Lady Dogs posting her first career double-double. Robinson scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. She shot 5-of-8 from the floor and was 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.
"I had no intentions of playing Shamia Robinson tonight, not one minute," Schaefer said. "I played her 19 minutes and she gets 17 points and 10 rebounds and she played the way you are supposed to play for the most part. She played better than the (starters) that I had on the bench and that's why she played. I'm extremely proud of her and pleased with her effort."
Robinson was playing in just her second game of the season returning from a stress fracture. She was determined to show out given the opportunity on Thursday.
"I'm just coming back from an injury and didn't expect to get much playing time," Robinson said. "I told myself earlier in the day during shoot around that if I got the opportunity to get in i was going to make (Schaefer) want to keep me in. I was going to give it all I had during every minute I was in."
Grant added 15 points for State while Sherise Williams and Katia May each contributed nine points as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 6-5 on the year.
Mississippi State shot 36.9-percent from the floor in the game and forced a season high 35 turnovers. The Lady Dogs bench also outscored JSU's 36-8 on the evening.
The Lady Gamecocks jumped out to a 12-2 lead during the first seven minutes of the game and had a 23-11 advantage with 7:35 remaining in the first half. But MSU went on a 21-5 run to take a slim 32-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs went on to outscore Jacksonville State 37-26 in the second half thanks in part to an 11-0 run.
The Lady Gamecocks shot 35.2-percent from the field and hit just one shot behind the arc.
Miranda Cantrell led JSU with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Amanda McCarthy added nine points while Dashauna Truss and Destany Mclin each contributed eight.
The Lady Dogs will be off until Dec. 28 when they return to action hosting Northwestern State at 7 p.m.
Mississippi State NEWS