STARKVILLE, Miss., - For the past few weeks Vic Schaefer has challenged his Mississippi State team to not only start the game strong but also for an individual player to put back-to-back outings together.
Schaefer finally got both wishes granted in an 82-60 win over Troy on Saturday night.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to an 11-point lead less than eight minutes into the game and received two double-double performances from Carnecia Williams and Martha Alwal to piggyback their strong efforts in Friday's win over Northwestern State.
"I don't think there is any question this is the most complete game we've played all year," said MSU head coach Vic Schaefer. "It's certainly the best first half we've played. I thought we competed and played hard all night long. That team is averaging 80 points a game and we held them down pretty well. I'm really pleased with our effort defensively. We forced 25 turnovers and had 14 steals. I'm really happy with how we executed."
It was the second straight double-double for Alwal, who posted 10 points and 13 rebounds on Friday night. She followed up with a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday against the Lady Trojans.
"I just tried to incorporate yesterday into today," Alwal said. "We had back-to-back games and I was still tired from yesterday but I tried to push through the fatigue."
Williams went for 16 points and eight boards on Friday night and answered with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Troy. Williams was 10-of-13 from the field and had seven offensive rebounds.
"Last night I was just trying to incorporate what we've been doing at practice with is be physical and rebound," Williams said. "Tonight I just wanted to stack them. I've been working hard on rebounding and boxing out and tonight was a successful night in doing so."
Darriel Gaynor also had a successful return back into the starting lineup. Gaynor drained five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.
"I just think the kid has earned the right to get back in the lineup," Schaefer said. "I think she's comfortable there. She's a fifth-year senior and she's got a function. She plays both ends of the floor and blocks out and that's what I love about her."
MSU (8-5) shot 44.9-percent from the field and outrebounded the Lady Trojans 48-35 on the evening.
The Lady Bulldogs led 48-27 at the break and edged Troy 34-33 in the second half.
The Lady Trojans shot 37.9-percent on the evening but made just 3-of-14 behind the arc.
Sarah McAppion led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Brooke Bowie added nine points and Kourtney Coleman chipped in seven as Troy dropped to 3-9 on the year.
MSU will open up the new year and conference play traveling to Vanderbilt on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.