Mississippi State Women's Basketball Closes Regular Season With a Win

After losing five-straight games, Mississippi State women's basketball finally got back on track with a Senior Day win over Missouri.
Jan 7, 2024; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard JerKaila Jordan (2)
Jan 7, 2024; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard JerKaila Jordan (2) / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State women's basketball defeated the Missouri Tigers 90-75 in their regular season finale Sunday afternoon in Starkville. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the MSU women, who entered this game in must-win mode following their late-season skid. The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 21-10 record overall and an 8-8 SEC record.

State shot the ball well early in the game, an improvement from recent outings. But their defense was poor for much of the first half, allowing a bad Missouri team to take the lead into the locker room. A dominant third quarter allowed the Bulldogs to take control of the game, and they closed strong to win by 15. Despite the slow start defensively, Mississippi State did what was absolutely necessary and closed out the regular season with a win.

Defense struggles early for Mississippi State women's basketball

During their five-game losing streak, Mississippi State women's basketball was plagued by terrible offensive play. They got off to a better start on Sunday, particularly in the first quarter, scoring 23 on 54% shooting. Unfortunately, their defense didn't come out with the same intensity.

Missouri shot a blistering 59% in the first half to put up 40 heading into the locker room. This is a Missouri squad that had been pretty poor offensively, averaging just 63 points per game in SEC play entering the game. State played better defense in the third quarter, but Mizzou still hit some shots late to finish the day 12 points above their average on a 51% shooting performance.

Mississippi State's defense has been hit or miss for much of the season. They need to get more settled in on that side of the ball with the postseason starting.

Jerkaila Jordan sparks big second half for Mississippi State women's basketball

Jerkaila Jordan has been amongst the most important players for Mississippi State women's basketball this season. State has not had much success when she hasn't played well. Against Missouri, it looked for a while that they would have to find a way to win without her making much of an impact.

After committing two fouls in the first quarter, spent 13:38 of the first half on the bench, including missing the entire second quarter. But she returned with a vengeance in the second half. Jordan was 9-11 shooting out of the locker room with 22 points, tying for the team lead. It was her best game in several weeks, and without that performance, MSU may not have gotten the win.

Darrione Rogers tied Jordan with 22 off the bench, shooting 6-8 from three. Lauren Park-Lane, who had been very quiet offensively during State's losing-streak, nearly had a double-double with 18 points and nine assists. MSU's offense had been in a funk for weeks, but it seems they've found some momentum right before the most important time of the year.

Mississippi State's women's basketball can still make the NCAA Tournament

The past few weeks had begun to make Mississippi State women's basketball's NCAA Tournament hopes seem bleak. They went from being safely in the field to firmly on the bubble. State was one of the last four teams in the field in ESPN's latest bracketology. And with a loss to a bad Missouri team, they would've dropped out of the projected field.

But with the win, State is still, for now, safe. They are by no means a lock to make it. They likely need a win in the SEC Tournament to feel comfortable. But they at least kept their tournament hopes alive and potentially even likely by taking care of business against the Tigers.

Mississippi State women's basketball is back in action Thursday at the SEC Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina where they'll face Texas A&M.