Mississippi State Remains Perfect At Home With Win Over Florida A&M

Published 12:13 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

Starkville – Mississippi State closed out the home portion of its non-conference schedule on Thursday with a 72-47 win over Florida A&M. The win gave the Bulldogs a perfect 8-0 non-conference home record and a 9-2 overall record heading into the Sun Coast Challenge next week.

Mississippi State started the game hot and went on a 25-3 run from the 8:57 mark while holding the Rattlers to just 23% shooting from the field and 11% from three in the first quarter while forcing eight turnovers and six steals. The Bulldogs held Florida A&M to just 16 points in the first half, which is tied for the lowest allowed in the first half this season.

State kept the defensive pressure high throughout the game and built upon their top-rated steals defense with 14. This was the sixth straight game with at least 13 steals for MSU. State also forced 23 turnovers, the fourth consecutive game forcing at least 23 while turning those turnovers into 24-points.

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Anastasia Hayes recorded her 500th career assist with a pass to Debreasha Powe in the first quarter and became the only active Division 1 player to have at least 2,000+ points, 500+ rebounds and 500+ assists in their career. JerKaila Jordan led the team with 12 points, with Asianae Johnson following closely behind with 11. Nine of the 10 Bulldogs that played in the game scored at least 10 points.

Game Notes:
• Outscoring the Rattlers 28-8 in the paint in the first half, 42-14 for the game
• State went on a 26-6 run from 8:57 to the end of the first quarter
• Held FAMU scoreless for over six minutes during the first quarter
Debreasha Powe led the team with seven rebounds

Quoting Coach Purcell:
Opening Statement
First and foremost, happy holidays. That was a fun game. Any game you can win, but it was more than just the win. It was the spirit, obviously, with Christmas around the corner. I appreciate marketing, and again, our fanbase is one of the best in the country. To challenge them to go to Wal-Mart or Dollar General or online to find your favorite Christmas holiday [sweater], but most importantly, not only buy it, but wear it to the game. It was great to hear the jingles. People were yelling at me before the game, “Coach, check out my outfit.” So, that’s where I tell everybody it’s more than just basketball at times. It’s fun that we can play hard and entertain for others, but also have a little holiday joy like we did today. Excited for the win. The defensive effort, unbelievable again. I love my team, but like I keep saying, I promise we’re working on layups and free throws. It’s only a matter of time before they fall in, and let’s make sure it falls in next week because we have two big [games] ahead of us.”

On the story behind his Hawaiian shirt
“Obviously, we’re still sad like everybody else for Mike Leach. I’m not going to be here next week for the awesome memorial service that we are going to have here at the Hump, because we will be done in Tampa. So, I was at Walmart. I thought why am i trying to get a sweater, but I just wanted to give him a little love. For Mike just like everybody else, we love you. I will never forget when I took this job, we went on the bulldog tour down in Biloxi. We were questioned left and right. One of the questions was about my past, and I told the audience that I worked at GAP. I love clothes. I will never forget Leach was like, ‘I do too. My fashion buddy!’ For those who know him, that was Leach. That’s who that guy was. I told him I actually love his fashion, too, with the Hawaiian shirts. I just didn’t have the cargo shorts tonight. Hopefully he’s looking [down] from above and he was proud. What a great man and that was just my two cents to throw a little love for a guy that we’re truly going to miss.”

Quoting Ahlana Smith:
On today’s game plan
“I think so. I think our M.O. is not allowing people to scout one person or us to have just one person that we can go to; it’s a team effort. I think that Coach [Sam Purcell] put a lot of emphasis on that this week to share the ball, get open shots, but get the easy shot. No hero ball, but let everyone get a touch and everybody get a feel for it.”

Up Next
Mississippi State will travel to Tampa, Fla., to close out its non-conference schedule. While in Tampa, the Bulldogs will play Old Dominion on Monday, Dec. 19, and New Mexico on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Both games will start at 12 p.m. CT. Streaming of the game will be on BallerTV. No link has been provided at this time.

For the most up-to-date information on the Bulldogs, follow MSU women’s basketball on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and join them on Instagram by searching for “HailStateWBK.