Contact or no contact, Brown helps Lady Bulldogs
Junior forward Ashley Brown nearly had a double-double in exhibition action for the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.
That's even after losing a contact at one point of the second half.
Brown scored 12 points and was the leading rebounder with seven as MSU defeated Montevallo 75-42 at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Chicago, Ill., native was active grabbing rebounds, getting loose basketballs and getting to the free-throw line for the Lady Bulldogs.
Those are the things that are positive points for MSU coach Sharon-Fanning Otis.
"She's active and I love her aggressiveness," Fanning-Otis said. "She'll go fetch. She got to weak-side rebounding. She was quick back up, is generally going to get to the free-throw line and again she took more free-throws than anybody on the team.
"She had a couple of transition buckets. I saw her help us defensively and saw her help us on rebounds offensive and defensive; I saw her go to set screens hard so there are a lot of ways she's making our basketball team better."
If there was one area that caused Fanning-Otis concern about Brown's game was fouls.
"She's going to have to be smart," Fanning-Otis said. "She lost her contact and said she couldn't see the girl on that third foul. I don't know how she's going to work that. I can't help her with that.
"It's just getting her to understand that we're not going to need her with four fouls. She's going to need to play in the 30-minute range for us to be a really good basketball team because of her experience."
Brown's reason for losing the contact was it began "jumping" in her eye and she had to switch it out.
The first goal for Brown when she goes onto the court is rebound and she was disappointed about not getting three more rebounds to record a double-double.
"Rebounding is a key to winning games," Brown said. "I was missing rebounds that I should have gotten. I've got to practice more on getting the ball with two hands instead of trying with one."
Along with rebounding, Brown puts emphasis on rebounding, getting putbacks and working on defense.
Junior guard Diamber Johnson, who led the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points, scored 11 points in the first half as MSU took a 32-22 lead.
After starting the game shooting 27 percent (4 of 15) from the field in the first 8 minutes, the Lady Bulldogs warmed up to 38 percent (13 of 34) by halftime. They finished shooting 43 percent (24 of 56).
Junior guard Porsha Porter added 13 points for MSU, while junior center Judith Tabala had 11 points.
"It was a step forward and it showed what we need to work on," Johnson said. "Team-wise, it showed we have a lot of potential and we can be a team by the end of the year. We're all new, but we're all on the same page. I think we know what each other's role is."
Fanning-Otis had an update on injured players Cardecia Williams and Darriel Gaynor.
Williams, a freshman forward, hurt her pinky finger and has been able to shoot and take part in conditioning.
"I don't know how her level of understanding and contribution will be," Fanning-Otis said. "She can help us if she can learn the sets, but it will be a process."
Fanning-Otis said it will be two or three more weeks before Gaynor can get back into a practice rotation after knee surgery.
It was also revealed by Fanning-Otis on Sunday that Ashley Jones is no longer with the team due to personal reasons.
The Lady Bulldogs open regular-season play Friday against South Carolina-Upstate at 4 p.m.