Another home game for the Lady Tigers (12-8, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) resulted in another unfortunate loss to the No. 6 Mississippi State Bulldogs (20-1, 8-0 SEC) 68-35.
The Bulldogs took little time to establish themselves as the more impressive team. They started the game on a 21-0 run and made LSU looked lost on the court.
Mississippi State’s full court press forced the Lady Tigers to make mistakes with handling the ball and attempting heavily contested shots.
LSU closed the first quarter trailing 22-4 and shooting 13 percent from the field. The Tigers have consistently started slow this season, but nothing compared to this start on Thursday night.
LSU would go on to trail by as much as 40 and shoot 21 percent for the game. Coach Nikki Fargas has stressed the need for an improved offense for the past couple of weeks, but the team did not get the message against the Bulldogs.
The combination of turnovers and poor shooting resulted in an historic loss on the offensive end, but LSU did hold Mississippi State nearly 20 points below their average for the season and did outscore them in the fourth quarter, behind junior guard Mercedes Brooks’ two three-pointers..
At the end of the day, Mississippi State performed like a top-notch program that has championship aspirations behind dynamic player in 6-foot-7-inch center Teaira McCowan.
With that being said, it is hard to find a silver lining for a team that has simply underperformed for the majority of the year.
After the game, star forward Ayana Mitchell said that not winning came down to more than just poor execution.
“I think that we have to do a self-check,” Mitchell said. “I love this team, but we don’t take this seriously. We don’t take certain games seriously. We don’t take this conference seriously. We take these games and these opportunities for granted.”
Mitchell's serious statement demonstrates why she's considered a team leader. She said she knows that she, along with her teammates, need to start caring about their commitment to the team.
Coach Fargas agreed in saying that the passion has to be higher.
“This team had moments in the game,” Fargas said. “This group has to got to have a buy-in for each other.”
This team will need to look out for each other if they want any shot at making a run to close out the season on a high note. They will try to fix their mistakes as they take on Missouri (16-6, 5-3 SEC) in the PMAC on Monday.