NSU (4-6) jumped to a 13-0 run in the opening minutes and pushed for a 24-14 lead with 7:23 to go in the first half, but the Bulldogs (7-5) held the Lady Demons to seven points, all free throws, through the 16:20 mark in the second half.
“We valued the basketball in the first half, and I felt we were poised against their pressure,” said co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. “We knew coming in their signature was to get out and defend, over play the passing lanes, and be physical.”
Mississippi State’s defense forced the Lady Demons into almost double the turnovers from the first (7) . Eleven of those 13 miscues came before the 12-minute mark.
“I thought the first four minutes of the second half we lost our poise and just turned the basketball over too many times,” said Stoehr. “That allows easy scoring opportunities for the other team, but you also takeaway opportunities to score for yourself."
Jasmine Bradley led the way during NSU’s early run scoring seven of her 11 first half points. She finished the game with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and took the first double-double for NSU since Jasmine Upchurch had one against Wiley College.
The leading scorer in the game was Mississippi State’s Carnecia Williams who had 16 points and eight boards. Katia May scored 11 and Martha Alwal contributed 10 in the contest.
NSU was 15-54 from the field for just under 28 percent, but the Lady Demons were only 6-26 in the second half.
MSU led the turnover battle 20-12, and the Bulldogs scored 22 points off turnovers compared to 12 by NSU.
Northwestern State will return to action Thursday when the open up conference play at 5:30 in Prather Coliseum with McNeese State.