Porsha Porter provided the backbone to give the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs a lift on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled early and often during the game with the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes, but Porter provided 11 first-half points for the only highlight and MSU went on to a 64-47 win at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Lady Bulldogs (4-1) shot 35.9 percent and held a slim 33-31 lead at the break.
"I just try to bring as much energy as possible to our team," said Porter. "We were kind of slacking in the beginning of the game, so I was trying to pick us up and get everybody going."
MSU got some separation in the second half as Diamber Johnson and Martha Alwal started to pick things up along with Porter.
Porter, who finished the game with a team-high 18 points, gladly accepted the help from her teammates. Johnson had a season-low of 10 points but Alwal picked up her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 boards.
Despite the double-double, Alwal wasn't satisfied.
"I don't like how I played today," said Alwal. "I didn't play with any heart and I was just going through the motions. I need to get a lot better."
The Lady Bulldogs were able to hold on to pick up the 64-47 win, but head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis wasn't too pleased.
"I was disappointed in our effort," said Fanning-Otis. "We had a better effort in the second half, but still not where we need to be. If we keep working, we're going to find ways to get better, but I expect more consistency and better effort."
Fanning-Otis was pleased with Porter, who was yelling "let's go" to here teammates throughout the game.
"Porsha has continently brought energy to this team," said Fanning-Otis. "She gave us focused energy when she was on the floor."
The win mixed with her season-high point production wasn't enough for Porter to call the game a success despite what the coaches thought.
"The coaches said I played really hard," said Porter. "I don't think I did because we let them score 47 points and we shouldn't have let them score that. We have to do better."
To do better, Porter believes that everything can start to be fixed in one place.
"i feel we have to get better as a team in practice," said Porter. "The last couple of days we haven't had good practices and I think it reflects in the game. If we don't have good practices, then we're not going to have a good game and that's what showed today."
Porter isn't the only one who thinks practices haven't been up to par either, which could be a problem with a road trip[ to Savannah State on Saturday.
"Our practice yesterday (Tuesday) was not where it needed to be," said Fanning-Otis. "I think it was a reflection during the game, but hopefully we'll take this day off to reflect and get ready for a tough road trip."
The Lady Bulldogs will return home on Wednesday to host South Alabama, but they have a lot of things to fix before they reach Southeastern Conference play at the beginning of the year.