Mississippi State women’s basketball secured a significant victory on Monday, pulling off an upset against No. 9 LSU at Humphrey Coliseum with a final score of 77-73. The sold-out crowd witnessed a thrilling game, marking a notable achievement for coach Sam Purcell, who took over the team in March 2022.
The Bulldogs (17-5, 4-3 SEC) attributed their success to standout performances by guards Jerkaila Jordan, leading with 24 points, and Darrione Rogers, contributing 19 points off the bench. Despite LSU’s (18-4, 5-3) formidable lineup, including star forward Angel Reese scoring 20 points, Mississippi State managed to establish a lead of up to nine points during the game.
This victory holds significance as it marks Mississippi State’s first win against LSU since 2021.
Freshman standout Mjracle Sheppard played a pivotal role off the bench, showcasing fearlessness and determination. Sheppard notched an impressive 12 points and six steals, making significant contributions to the team’s success. Matched against one of the nation’s toughest guards, LSU’s Hailey Van Lith, Sheppard demonstrated defensive prowess, limiting Van Lith to four points and forcing three turnovers. Her impactful performance prompted Coach Purcell to give her a starting role in the second half.
The first half presented challenges for the Bulldogs, with turnovers and the absence of center Jessika Carter proving costly. LSU capitalized on 19 points off turnovers, securing a 40-35 lead. The Tigers’ aggressive defense, accumulating eight steals in the first half, posed difficulties for Mississippi State. Despite initial mistakes, the Bulldogs managed to maintain a lead after the first quarter. However, with Jessika Carter sidelined due to fouls, LSU capitalized on her absence, orchestrating a 12-4 run in the opening minutes of the second quarter to establish a six-point lead.