Mississippi State defeats Tennessee in double overtime
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Regulation wasn't enough as the Mississippi State women's basketball team used two overtime periods to knock off Tennessee, 91-90, in front of a crowd of over 5,000. The win moves the Bulldogs to 16-7 overall and 5-5 in the SEC, while the loss drops Tennessee's record to 17-9 overall and 8-2 in the SEC.
This is the first double-overtime win for MSU since March 24, 2014, against Southern Miss when the Bulldogs won 74-66. This is also head coach Sam Purcell's 16th career victory making him the winningest first-year head coach in program history.
JerKaila Jordan was the driving force for the Bulldog offense, knocking down a season-high 24 points, six rebounds and three steals. Jordan scored 11 in the first half, 12 in the second half and a huge free throw in overtime.
Joining Jordan in double-figures were Asianae Johnson and Anastasia Hayes. Johnson, a major spark for the Bulldogs late in the contest with six straight points in the fourth quarter, tied her season-high on Monday with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. In the second overtime, Hayes took over after the frame started with a Tennessee triple. After buckets from Johnson and Ramani Parker, Hayes scored five straight points, including three at the free throw line to help push the MSU lead to six. Hayes ended the game with 14 points, with eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.
- First time State has scored in double-digits in the first quarter since Jan. 19 against Auburn (18)
- The game was tied 31 to 31 going into halftime
- Bulldogs outscored the Lady Vols 40-26 in the paint
- 91 is tied for the most points State has scored against Tennessee
- State improves to 2-0 against the Lady Vols in OT (first one coming in Starkville 1/29/2016)
- Jordan scored 24 points, the most she's scored in SEC play since scoring 20 last season
- This is the Bulldog's first top 20 NET win
- Bulldog's first win in 2OT since 2014 against Southern Miss
- State's bench outscored the Lady Vols 40-34
- Tennessee held to 4 steals, tied for their lowest this season.
- Bulldogs 3rd straight SEC home win
- Bulldogs are now 11-2 at home
- Charlotte Kohl made her first start of the season, 12th in her career
- Ramani Parker has now knocked down a three-pointer in each of the past three games
- Tennessee shot 44 free throws to Mississippi State's 33 free throws
Quoting Coach Sam Purcell
We had a great talk this week. I had some tired bodies and tired minds, and we went back to the basics, and it started with me. We're doing way too much. We know how to make plays, I've gotta get out of the way, but at the same time you all have to bring your attitude, your toughness. We made a change in transition defense, and I told both of them, my double A batteries over there, [Asianae] and [Anastasia], you all are two of the fastest kids in the SEC. You wanna win, you wanna change the tempo for our team, they gotta feel you for four quarters, but obviously, tonight was more."
Quoting Anastasia Hayes
On how it feels to know that coach has your back as well
"It means a lot that he has [our] back. To have a coach that fights and tells us he will fight is awesome. At that moment, I felt like we have a close relationship, and I can be like "Coach, calm down a little bit", but we stuck it out and got the win, and he stayed positive, we stayed positive, and we had his back."
Mississippi State will be on the road Thursday when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.