No. 8/10 Texas Women’s Basketball falls at No. 10/9 Mississippi State, 79-68

Filed under: UT Women's Basketball |

Brooke McCarty, Ariel Atkins, and Brianna Taylor combined for 49 points in the contest

photo from texassports.com

photo from texassports.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. – In its second top-15 matchup of the season, No. 8/10 Texas Women’s Basketball (1-2) couldn’t overcome a first half 17-point deficit and fell to No. 10/9 Mississippi State (4-0), 79-68.

The all-times series between the Longhorns and the Bulldogs is now tied at two apiece. Texas holds a 143-71 (.668) record against the Southeastern Conference.

“We didn’t battle in the first half,” said Texas head coach Karen Aston. “I thought we showed some growth in one half. We just have to get a bench. Right now, that’s the thing that’s concerning to me. We’re losing a lot of continuity when we sub.”

Junior Brooke McCarty led the Longhorns with 19 points and four assists, while junior Ariel Atkins posted 18 points and four rebounds on the night.

Senior Brianna Taylor added 12 points while bringing down eight boards and adding a team-high three steals. Freshman Joyner Holmes was on the brink of her first double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.

As a team, Texas shot 42.9 percent (27-of-56) from the floor while Mississippi State shot at a 47.4 percent clip (27-of-57). The Horns outrebounded the Bulldogs, 36-26, and posted four blocks on the game.

Mississippi State was led by junior Morgan William with 23 points.

It was back and fourth in the opening stanza, with neither team taking more than a four-point spread. Texas utilized its strength, scoring 14 of its 16 points inside the paint, to end the first quarter in a draw, 16-16.

The Bulldogs held the Longhorns to nine points in the second quarter, seven of which came from the charity stripe. Junior Victoria Vivian posted 10 points in the second half to put Mississippi State on top headed into the locker rooms, 42-25.

A 7-0 run capped with the first Texas trey of the game from junior Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau cut the Bulldog lead to 10 and gave life to the Horns offense. Taylor added six straight points in the heart of the third to get Texas within eight, but Mississippi State pushed back ahead, closing the third with the 59-45 advantage.

The Longhorns continued to outscore the Bulldogs in the second half, closing the fourth quarter 23-20 over Mississippi State. Late baskets, including a McCarty three-pointer, chipped away at the deficit, but time stood in the Bulldogs’ favor as they took the game, 79-68.

Box Score (PDF)