Mississippi State moves on to WBIT quarterfinals

Published 7:02 pm Sunday, March 24, 2024

By Elizabeth Keen
Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE — Behind eight fourth-quarter points from center Jessika Carter, Mississippi State pushed ahead in the final minutes to defeat TCU, 68-61, in the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament on Sunday.

Mississippi State (23-11) advanced to the WBIT quarterfinals on Thursday against the winner of Monday’s second-round game between Belmont and Penn State. Mississippi State will play at home if Belmont wins, and be on the road if Penn State wins.

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Carter made the fourth quarter her own Sunday, by scoring eight of the Bulldogs’ 22 points. She also drew a crucial charge in a tie game with just over three minutes remaining and added a pair of free throws that pushed the Bulldogs ahead 60-56 with 2:11 left.

TCU (21-12) took a 56-54 lead on a 3-pointer by Tara Manumaleuga with 4:58 remaining, then went more than four minutes without a field goal as Mississippi State pulled ahead. Una Jovanovic’s 3-pointer with 52 seconds to go was TCU’s only field goal down the stretch.

Carter totaled 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while guard Lauren Park-Lane added eight points and eight assists.

Senior guard Jerkaila Jordan added 15 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists. Jordan raced out to a quick start with 11 points, four rebounds and three steals in the first half as Mississippi State led 36-28 at halftime.

Madison Conner led TCU with 17 points, and Sedona Prince had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Manumaleuga scored 10 points.