January 15, 2010 11:03:00 AM
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Mississippi State women''s basketball team began the second half on a 23-10 run Thursday to pull away and beat Arkansas 78-60 at Bud Walton Arena.
Mississippi State (12-5, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) won for just the third time at Bud Walton Arena, but for the second time in three years.
It is the fourth time in school history for the Lady Bulldogs to start 3-1 in SEC play.
MSU got off to a good start and sprinted to an 8-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest.
Arkansas (8-9, 0-4) eventually righted the ship and rallied for a 14-13 lead on a Charity Ford jumper with 8:47 left in the first half.
The lead changed hands four times before the Lady Razorbacks took their last lead of the game at 20-19 on a 3-point basket by Ashley McCray with 2:50 left in the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure, closing out the half on a 7-0 run for a 26-20 lead at the break.
A putback by Arkansas'' C''eira Ricketts cut MSU''s lead to 30-26 less than two minutes into the second half.
On the other end, a 3-point basket by MSU''s Chanel Mokango provided a spark, jump starting the game-deciding run. A steal and 3-point basket by Diamber Johnson gave the Lady Bulldogs a 43-30 advantage with 15:06 remaining.
The lead grew to 53-36 as Lumanu capped the 23-10 run with a jumper in the lane. MSU expanded the lead to as many as 25 points (76-51) before closing out the win.
For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs made 27 of 63 shots from the field (42.9 percent), 10 of 29 shots from 3-point range (34.5 percent) and 14 of 16 shots from the foul line (87.5 percent). The Lady Razorbacks made 18 of 59 shots from the field (30.5 percent), 5 of 18 shots from 3-point range (27.8 percent) and 19 of 26 shots from the foul line (73.1 percent).
Arkansas held a 42-37 rebounding advantage. MSU had 17 assists and 12 turnovers, while Arkansas had eight assists and 18 turnovers.
Mokango paced the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points, matching a career high. Also in double figures were Mary Kathryn Govero with 16 points, Lumanu with 15 points and Alexis Rack with 15 points. Mokango posted her second double-double as she pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds and added six blocked shots. Lumanu also had her second double-double, adding 10 rebounds and six assists.
Ford scored 26 points and Lyndsay Harris scored 12 for the Lady Razorbacks.
Mississippi State returns home to host Florida at 2 p.m. Sunday. The contest will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South.