Mississippi State started slow but finished big Wednesday night as they put five players in double figures including two newcomers on their way to the 81-42 victory against Jackson State. Vic Schaefer's Bulldogs (2-0) turned the Tigers over nearly 30 times while holding them to just 24.5% shooting and out rebounding them by 20.
The Bulldogs' intensity was evident defensively for 40 minutes but the offense got off to a sluggish start. MSU struggled their way through the first 12 minutes of the game with just 25% shooting by the time the third media timeout hit. MSU led by a narrow margin at that point, 15-13, but would hit a furious run to end the half.
The Bulldogs used a 24-6 run over the final eight minutes of the half capped by a three pointer by freshman Dominique Dillingham in the last 15 seconds and a runner in the lane at the buzzer by Katia May to end the half with a 39-19 lead.
MSU bumped their shooting up to 42% on 15-36 shooting 11-16 to end the half. State's defense forced 21 turnovers in the first half getting seven steals and outscored the Tigers 17-0 in points off turnovers.
MSU started the second half with as much intensity as the first and were hitting shots to go along with it. Kendra Grant hit a jumper and then a layup drawing a foul to get the first five points of the half. The Bulldog defense kept the clamps on holding the Tigers to just 24.5% for the game forcing 29 turnovers and converting 31 points off of those turnovers.
MSU was led by Martha Alwal and Grant as the two veteran juniors combined for 31 points. Alwal led the way with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks putting her just 15 away from tying the school record. Grant scored 14 points and freshman Breanna Richardson had a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Bulldogs shot 45% from the field in the game hitting 15 more shots than the opposition while holding the Tigers to just 12 field goals on 49 attempts. MSU out-rebounded the 0-3 Tigers, 51-31.
MSU now gets set for its third game of the season at home against New Orleans on Sunday. The Bulldogs will tip off at 3 p.m.