Charles Davis once told me that Starkville isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there. That’s where the Cowgirls were for their second round NCAA Tournament game against 1-seed Mississippi State.
The Cowgirls got hot early and jumped out to a 20-16 lead after the first quarter, looking for an upset of the 33-1 Bulldogs. The second quarter was more of the same as the two teams traded shots for much of the period before Mississippi State pulled ahead 35-34 at halftime.
Your halftime numbers from Starkville #okstate pic.twitter.com/d85iB9co34— Cowgirl Basketball (@OSUWBB) March 20, 2018
Plays like this one on defense helped keep the Cowgirls in the game in the first half ⬇️.
What No. 1 seed?@OSUWBB isn't backing down! pic.twitter.com/CXEG5UIkmc— NCAA Women's BKB (@ncaawbb) March 20, 2018
Kaylee Jensen was a big reason for the Cowgirls’ early success. She led OSU in scoring with 18 on 7 of 16 shooting to go with seven rebounds. OSU struggled to find her in the third quarter and Mississippi State took advantage. The turning point came late in the third quarter with MSU up 49-43. Star graduate transfer Loryn Goodwin picked up an offensive foul that led to an easy two points for Miss State on the other end. The foul was her fourth and she was taken out.
The Bulldogs were able to push the lead to 10 heading into the fourth quarter, and they were able to keep it there for a majority of the period. A Mandy Coleman three-pointer with 9:15 left cut the MSU lead to eight, but that’s as close as the Cowgirls would get as Mississippi State was able to coast to a 71-56 win.
The Bulldogs advance to meet North Carolina State in the Sweet 16 next Friday in Kansas City.
Thank you to our three Cowgirl seniors for amazing careers at Oklahoma State
This group emptied the tank and left it all out on the floor. Be proud #okstate fans. pic.twitter.com/8r6L4JUh7x— Cowgirl Basketball (@OSUWBB) March 20, 2018
Congrats to @OSUWBB on a great season. I'm thankful to call @Coach_Littell a colleague and friend. A great Coach and Man. #GoPokes— Mike Boynton (@thacoachmike) March 20, 2018