STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s women’s basketball program only holds 13 wins over LSU in 60 overall meetings but seven of them have come in the last five years.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs’ most recent 64-60 victory came Thursday night as they tamed the Tigers for the seventh straight time despite a feverish second-half comeback.
Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0 SEC) shot 50 percent on the night but struggled at the free throw line, hitting just 8 of 19. Jordan Danberry paced the Bulldogs with 16 points along with Jessika Carter’s sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Andra Espinoza-Hunter also added 10 points in her third start of the year.
MSU shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half with eight different players contributing in the scoring column. LSU, meanwhile, was 0 for 3 from the perimeter and 0 for 6 from the free throw line in the opening half.
Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer changed up his starting lineup, going with Espinoza-Hunter on the wing instead of Rickea Jackson. The Bulldogs did not seemed phased by the switch and held a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
MSU turned up its defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding the Tigers to only six points and took a 34-22 lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs extended their lead out to 20 early in the third quarter but LSU certainly made things interesting down the stretch. The Tigers outscored Mississippi State 18-9 in the fourth quarter and cut it to 63-60 with 45 seconds remaining.
Three timeouts and a trio of video reviews followed until Danberry was able to seal it with a single free throw with under a second to play.
The Tigers (13-4, 3-2 SEC) shot 66.7 percent in the second half and 48.2 percent for the game.
Ayanna Mitchell led LSU with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Faustine Aifuwa also had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards and Khayla Pointer chipped in 14 points.
MSU travels to No. 1 South Carolina on Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.