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Instant Analysis: No. 9 LSU women’s basketball stumbles again in road loss to Mississippi State

LSU’s season began with hopes of possible perfection, but instead, the Tigers women’s basketball team is searching for answers after a 77-73 road loss to Mississippi State on Monday night.

Coach Kim Mulkey’s team falls to 18-4 (5-3 SEC). It has now dropped two games in a row and three of its last five.

The first quarter was very streaky. LSU jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but Mississippi State answered with an 11-0 run to take the early momentum and lead at home. The Bulldogs hit 7 of 10 shots to begin the game.

They led by as much as eight in the frame, but the Tigers cut that deficit to two by the end of the quarter. The script flipped in the second quarter as 10 first-half MSU turnovers helped LSU retake control.

LSU had its own issues with sloppiness, giving up five turnovers of its own in just the second quarter, but it managed to take a 40-35 lead to the locker room after shooting 50% in the first half. Angel Reese, Flau'Jae Johnson and Aneesah Morrow each scored 10 points in the half, with Reese nearly recording a double-double in 20 minutes with nine rebounds.

Mississippi State came out in the third quarter playing much stronger, however. It outscored LSU 28-17 and led by six entering the fourth after the Tigers finished the quarter missing their last 10 shots.

LSU outscored the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, but it never retook the lead. A late three-pointer from Mikaylah Williams cut it to three with 15 seconds to play, but the Bulldogs made their free throws on the other end to deliver the dagger.

It was a solid game for LSU offensively as Reese finished with a 20-point, 18-rebound double-double while Johnson scored 18, but it struggled on the defensive end once again.

Mississippi State shot above 50% for the game with Jerkaila Jordan (24 points) and Darrione Rogers (19) causing particular problems for the LSU backcourt. Both teams were fairly sloppy, with MSU turning it over 22 times to the Tigers’ 21.

The Tigers will look to end the skid on Sunday when they return home to host Florida.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire