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Warrior Grant helps MSU win at home 57-55

November 17, 2012

Mississippi State's Kendra Grant had a shot attempt that rolled all of the way across the back of the rim and off to open the second half of Friday night's women's basketball game.

She refused to let that define her night.

Grant rebounded from a six-point first half to lead the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points and helped rally her team to a 57-55 victory at Humphrey Coliseum.

"She's a warrior," MSU women's coach Vic Schaefer said. "We told her that we're going to ride you baby until the horn sounds. We went to her and we wanted her to take the last shot."

Grant said the reason for her poor first half was because she was settling too much on jump shots.

At halftime Schaefer instructed her to drive to the basket and she followed through with those instructions.

"I had more of the mindset to get to the hole," Grant said.

After hitting 3-of-9 shot attempts from the field in the first half, Grant finished the game making 10-of-20 shots from the field.

The Lady Bulldogs rebounded from a bleak situation at halftime, trailing 33-23, and found a way to pick up the win.

MSU shot 27 percent in the first half and were out-rebounded 26-15.

"I'm awfully proud of the fight and heart from our team," Schaefer said. "They refused to lose and I loved that toughness. As bad as it was the other night (against Hampton), it was a complete 360. I was so proud of their toughness and the ability to continue to compete. We made stop after stop after stop down the stretch when before that it was hard. They worked hard for this. They practiced hard and good things are going to happen for these kids."

After Brittany Lewis hit a shot for the Lady Techsters to tie the game at 55-55, Darriel Gaynor's basket with 50 seconds remaining gave the Lady Bulldogs the winning points.

Lewis, a player that had 20 points for Louisiana Tech, heaved the final shot from the free-throw line at the horn, but it fell off the mark.

Schaefer saw the toughness on defense that he'd been looking for and Grant knows that made a difference.

"We have been taught to have a mindset of being tough, hitting boards and getting rebounds," Grant said. "In the second half, we took it to heart. We were being tough and going for loose basketballs."

Gaynor followed Grant in the scoring column with 11 points for MSU.

The Lady Bulldogs, who improved to 2-1 this season, take a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, over the Thanksgiving holidays for Hardwood Tournament of Hope play. MSU opens against Winthrop on Tuesday.

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