STARKVILLE • The Mississippi State women’s basketball team survived a late scare on Sunday to keep its win streak alive over Ole Miss.
No. 14-ranked Mississippi State beat Ole Miss, 60-56, at the Humphrey Coliseum. That’s the 14th-consecutive win for MSU over Ole Miss dating back to 2014.
The Rebels (7-2, 1-2 SEC) trailed by 14 points in the second half, but had a chance to tie the game on their last possession. Donnetta Johnson’s jumper came up just short of the basket and Mississippi State (8-2, 3-1) shot two free throws to go up by four points with 0.4 seconds left in the game.
“I told our team that was an ugly win,” Mississippi State head coach Nikki McCray-Penson said. “We felt that we did’nt do some things in this second half where we basically just fell apart. You can’t do that against a very talented Ole Miss team.”
Neither team could get much offense going in the first half, but Mississippi State (8-2, 3-1) used a 6-0 run to gather a seven-point lead late in the second quarter and led 31-27 at halftime. Aliyah Matharu had 11 points in the first half and hit three 3-pointers.
Ole Miss cut the lead to two points in the first two minutes of the third quarter, but Mississippi State used an 11-0 run and held the Rebels to only four points in the last eight minutes to take a 50-38 lead into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs kept its double-digit lead until 6:42 left in the game. Ole Miss turned the defensive pressure on and held MSU scoreless for 5:42 of game time. During that stretch, the Rebels used a 10-0 run, six points by free throws, to cut Mississippi State’s lead to 56-54.
“I just looked at the whole team in the huddle and told them ‘Y’all, please do not quit on me right now. This is a moment on growth. I promise you we are going to have a chance to win this game. I said let’s just tie it up and the pressure is solely on them,’” Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee- McCuin said she told her team during the fourth-quarter run.
Taylor scored MSU’s last field goal of the game with 1:15 left to put MSU back up by four points, but Ole Miss’ Valerie Nesbitt shortly cut it back to a two-point game.
Taylor turned the ball over with less than 30 seconds left, but Johnson missed her attempt to tie the game with two seconds left and MSU escaped the scare with a 4-point victory. Johnson finished with a career- high 25 points on 11 of 22 shooting. Nesbitt scored 18 on 6 of 11 shooting.
Mississippi State was led by Carter’s 19 points and 9 rebounds. Matharu added 16 points and Myah Taylor scored 10.
Mississippi State will host Alabama, while Ole Miss hosts Missouri on Thursday night.