jessika carter lubbock christian 19

Mississippi State sophomore Jessika Carter scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Monday's exhibition. 

STARKVILLE Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer got exactly what he was searching for in an exhibition opponent for his 10th-ranked Bulldogs.

Defending Division II national champion Lubbock Christian gave MSU a run for its money in the first half but the Bulldogs settled in for the second to prevail, 78-57.

“They came in here with a really good mindset and I thought that was exactly what we needed,” Schaefer said. “I was disappointed in our defensive effort in the first half and effort in general. I didn’t think we played very hard and it was a great wakeup call for us. I thought the second half was much better.”

The Lady Chaparrals actually led 25-22 at the end of the first quarter and were ahead until the final 15 seconds of the first half before Chloe Bibby knocked down a 3-pointer to send State into the locker room with a 43-41 advantage.

Bulldogs take over

The second half was a completely different story for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State limited LCU to just 6 of 26 shooting and only eight points in both the third and fourth quarters.

The Bulldogs finished the evening shooting 38.1 percent including a 7 of 20 showing from the 3-point arc.

Jessika Carter posted a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Carter shot 12 of 18 from the field and also added two blocks.

Jordan Danberry scored 12 points, Bibby chipped in 11 points and Andra Espinoza-Hunter added 10 in 16 minutes off the bench.

“We’re way different and we’ve got a lot of growth and a long way to go,” Schaefer said. “But it was good to get out there, play under the lights and have some adversity.”

MSU opens the season at home against Southern Miss on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Twitter: @loganlowery

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