STARKVILLE, Miss., - Carnecia Williams had never scored more than four points in any of her 23 career games at Mississippi State.
So when the sophomore forward had reached 12 points in the first 10 minutes Wednesday night she knew it was going to be a special outing offensively. Williams lifted the Lady Bulldogs with a career-high 26 points in a 70-55 victory over Savannah State.
"It was very exciting," Williams said. "It's what I've been waiting on, to be a part offensively and help the team out. That's what I've been working on."
Williams was 10-of-14 from the floor in 34 minutes of action.
"In one game I'd say she came miles," said MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said of Williams.
Kendra Grant also had a solid effort for MSU collecting a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
"Coach (Schaefer) is huge on defense and rebounding," Grant said. "He got on us hard at halftime talking about rebounding and our defensive efforts. I took that to heart and just tried to be that defensive spark that we needed."
Freshman Sherise Williams also had her best outing as a Lady Dog with 10 points and nine boards in 24 minutes off the bench.
"I thought Sherise Williams had her best game by far," Schaefer said. "She shot 4-of-6 and this was the same kid who was 3-of-15 on the same shots that she got tonight against Winthrop. She's trying and she cares. As a coach that's all you want."
State shot 48.1-percent from the field for the game and outrebounded the Lady Tigers 43-23 on the evening. The Lady Bulldogs also outscored Savannah State 42-24 in the paint and 18-1 in second chance points.
Neither team was able to knock down a shot from the outside combining to go 0-of-10.Schaefer was also displeased with the 21 turnovers and the effort from certain members of his young roster including starting center Martha Alwal, who contributed only two rebounds in 21 minutes.
"You want to coach a kid's mind," Schaefer said. "You don't want to coach their heart. I found myself tonight having to coach a couple of kid's hearts and I was disappointed in that. You know what? We'll do better. We'll coach better and prepare better. We'll instill in these kids the fight and desire to represent our university in a positive manner. I'm awfully proud of those kids that did compete."
The Lady Bulldogs were able to notch a 35-29 halftime lead by shooting 56-percent from the floor in the first half. Mississippi State went on to outscore the Lady Tigers 35-26 in the second to improve to 3-4 on the year.
Savannah State (2-4) shot 36.7-percent for the game led by Ezinne Kalu with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Erin Hogue added 18 points while Smiljana Cuk contributed five points in 19 minutes off the bench in the losing effort.
MSU will return to action on Saturday traveling to Southern Miss for a 4 p.m. tipoff.