STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)Jessika Carter was a big reason that Mississippi State routed its rival again.
She had 24 points and 11 rebounds in the No. 9 Bulldogs’ 80-39 win over Ole Miss on Sunday.
”Without an inside game we can’t win and we didn’t have that against South Carolina,” Carter said. ”I’ve been working on posting up so they can get the ball to me easier and finishing.”
The Bulldogs had lost to No. 1 South Carolina on Monday and Carter was ineffective with just two points and a rebound.
Carter posted up early and often as she dominated the inside game. The Bulldogs raced out to a 30-6 lead in the first quarter thanks to 10 points from Carter and they were off to the races from there.
The victory for the Bulldogs was the largest over the Rebels in the longtime series, besting the 31-point wins they had in each of the last two years.
The Rebels (7-13, 0-7 SEC) scored double digits in just one of the four quarters in the game.
The visitors turned the ball over 23 times and were outrebounded 41-28 in the loss.
”We started off super slow. 30 points is not something we want to have, I don’t care who we play,” Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. ”The damage was already done. We’re just going to continue to work.”
Deja Cage scored 11 points and Jayla Alexander had 10 points in the loss, but they combined to shoot 8 of 24 with Cage making just four of her 16 shots.
The Bulldogs (18-3, 6-1 SEC) managed to turn those 23 turnovers into 27 points and added 24 assists in the win.
”We had four (turnovers) at halftime which is really good,” MSU coach Vic Schaefer said. ”We forced 23 turnovers and that’s always a plus when we can get out and running.”
Carter dominated the inside and the midrange as she shot 10 of 14 from the field. She was helped out in the win by freshmen Rickea Jackson and Aliyah Matharu who scored 12 and 11 points respectively off of the bench.
Jackson usually starts for the Bulldogs at small forward but Xaria Wiggins took her place on Sunday. Schaefer didn’t give a reasoning for the change in the lineus. Wiggins had eight points and five assists in 22 minutes.
”It’s hard to start Xaria because she’s my fix-it-all. That role is really important,” Schaefer said. ”It’s a hard decision to make, but she handled it well. She’s the big wing. If you get her going now, she’s tough to get to.”
Mississippi State shot 48 percent for the ball game and hit 7 of 17 3-pointers on the way to the big win.
It was the 12th-straight win in the series for Vic Schaefer and Mississippi State as the Bulldogs’ coach has now gone 13-2 against Ole Miss. The Rebels had won 50 of the first 51 in the series from 1975-1997. Mississippi State has taken 35 of the last 48 since.
Mississippi State: After dropping a game at No. 1 South Carolina last Monday, the Bulldogs had a hiccup in a survival win at Vanderbilt. They left no doubt on Sunday that they were back in business as they beat the Rebels yet again.
Ole Miss: The Rebels are continuing their complete rebuild under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. They have lost all seven conference games to this point and only two of those have been by single digits.
Mississippi State: Hosts Auburn on Thursday.
Ole Miss: Hosts No. 1 South Carolina Thursday night.