AP NEWS

No. 10 Mississippi State routs San Francisco in Victoria

November 29, 2019

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Jordan Danberry had 17 points and four rebounds and No. 10 Mississippi State survived an early scare to thump San Francisco 73-38 on Thursday in the opening game for both teams in the Greater Victoria Invitational.

The Dons (2-4) kept it close in the first quarter and for much of the second, but were no match for the Bulldogs (7-0) in the final 20 minutes.

“It is early in the season, but it’s always good to stay undefeated,” Danberry said.

Andra Espinoza-Hunte added 12 points for Mississippi State, and Chloe Bibby had 10.

Danberry said the Bulldogs got their offense going after being down defensively following the close first quarter.

“It’s a special day (for Danberry),” Bullddogs coach Vic Shaefer said. “It’s a special player. She just causes so many problems for people on both ends of the floor. She plays so hard on offense and defense. She really bothered them, obviously.”

Lucie Hoskova led San Francisco (2-4) with 14 points as the Dons were forced to rely on outside shooting while Mississippi State dominated the glass defensively.

“In the first quarter, our defense was so good, so I think that was the biggest difference, and then we just dropped off after that,” Hoskova said.

No other San Francisco scorers reached double figures.

“They had a good plan of attack for us, and I thought we adjusted really well based on how well we shot the ball,” Shaefer said. “Basically, we were on the road.”

Mississippi State was looking for a strong effort after almost being upset by unranked Marquette on Monday in a game in which the lead changed hands 19 times. The Bulldogs shot 66.7% Thursday after connecting on just 38.7% of their field goals against Marquette.

“We made sure we did better with our offense today, being more patient,” Danberry said. “They slowed the game down a little bit and tried to spread us out, so I felt like our team was very disciplined and not reaching or fouling — and just playing.”

The Dons came out wanting to deliver a better effort than the one provided Friday in a 79-67 road loss to California-Davis. And, they did for a while.

San Francisco overcame a slow start to forge a 16-16 tie after the opening quarter. But strong defensive play late in the second quarter helped the Bulldogs secure the win after they were in danger of squandering a nine-point lead.

The second half was no contest as the Bulldogs held the Dons without a basket for 8 1/2 minutes in the third quarter. San Francisco did not get another basket until there was 1:30 left in the third, and the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 28-2 in the quarter.

Bulldogs coach Shaefer was heartened by his team’s strong inside play and 21 turnovers that it forced San Francisco to commit.

“That’s what we do,” he said. “We turn people over.”

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs moved a step closer to a showdown with No. 3 Stanford, which was due to play California Baptist later Thursday. If they both stay in the winners’ bracket, Mississippi State and Stanford can only square off in the final.

San Francisco: The Dons can only hope to finish fifth in the eight-team tournament. They will be looking to establish some consistency after suffering their third straight loss overall.

RANKING IMPLICATIONS:

Mississippi State, Stanford and No. 18 Syracuse are the only ranked teams in this tournament. A strong showing by other teams against them could result in some valuable ranking points.

UP NEXT:

Mississippi State meets Green Bay in a semifinal game Friday night.

San Francisco faces Bowling Green in a consolation-round game Thursday.