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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Van Chancellor Classic - Leonard E. Merrell Center - Katy, TX

No. 25 MS State outperforms Arkansas-Pine Bluff

92 days ago
Mississippi State Athletics
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

KATY, TEXAS - Four of the five Bulldog starters scored in double-figures to help Mississippi State battle past Arkansas Pine-Bluff 77-68 on Saturday at Merrell Center.

With the win, Mississippi State remains unblemished through the initial portion of the season at 7-0. The 7-0 start marks the best since Mississippi State started 8-0 in 2019-20.

Senior guard Jerkaila Jordan finished with 20-plus points for the third time in the last four games and the 25th time in her career with 20 points on 7-16 from the field and 5-5 from the free throw line in 37 minutes. Graduate student forward Erynn Barnum turned in her fourth career double-double and second of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes, while graduate student guard Lauren Park-Lane added 12 points and eight assists in 35 minutes.

Park-Lane now has 18 assists over the last two games compared to 20 over her first five contests at Mississippi State.

Sophomore guard Debreasha Powe scored nine of the team's first 14 points on three first-quarter triples to take an early 14-13 advantage for Mississippi State prior to the halfway mark of the initial quarter. The Bulldogs executed a perfect backscreen on an out-of-bounds set that freed up freshman guard Mjracle Sheppard for a layup prior to the buzzer that tied the game at 20 at the end of the first quarter.

Mississippi State went on a 9-1 run over a five-minute stretch in the second quarter in which four different players scored to build a 39-29 lead with 2:36 minutes left before the half. Mississippi State headed into the locker room up 43-33 after the two teams traded a pair of baskets over their final possessions.

Jordan weaved through traffic to finish an and-one layup with 5:49 minutes in the third quarter that opened the largest lead of the contest for Mississippi State at 54-42. Arkansas Pine-Bluff responded with a 13-5 from to end the frame that brought the margin back to 59-55.

The lead would not get any closer than three after Arkansas Pine-Bluff knocked down a free throw to get the score to one possession at 59-56 before Mississippi State went on multiple quick runs to push the lead back to double digits and eventually cruise to the win.

Mississippi State once again outrebounded its opponent for the seventh straight game to open the season. The Bulldogs turned in 24 points off 14 offensive rebounds.

Mississippi State will close out the 2023 Van Chancellor Classic with an opportunity to take home the tournament title with a win over Tulsa at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.