Howard leads No. 7 Mississippi St. past No. 16 Kentucky 86-71

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Anriel Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Chloe Bibby added 18 points and seventh-ranked Mississippi State beat No. 16 Kentucky 86-71 on Sunday.

Howard production was crucial because the team's other starting forward - 6-foot-7 senior All-American Teaira McCowan - spent much of the game in foul trouble. McCowan picked up her fourth foul with 5:40 left in the third quarter and Howard made several important baskets to keep Kentucky's deficit in the double digits.

Mississippi State (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) has won four straight. Kentucky (14-2, 1-1) had its five-game winning streak snapped.

The Bulldogs' Jordan Danberry added 17 points. McCowan had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jazzmun Holmes had six steals.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 26-11 lead in the first quarter, largely thanks to Howard's 11 points and five rebounds. The 5-foot-11 senior has been a difficult defensive matchup for opponents all year because she's often too strong to be defended by guards but too fast to be stopped by forwards on the perimeter.

Mississippi State led 41-27 at halftime.

Kentucky was led by Maci Morris, who scored 20 points. Rhyne Howard added 15.


Kentucky: The Wildcats couldn't recover from the slow start and several starters fought foul trouble. Kentucky's a much-improved team this season, but isn't particularly tall and might struggle against some of the SEC's bigger teams.

Mississippi State: It's another good win for the Bulldogs, who won despite not getting much from McCowan for big chunks of the game. The Bulldogs were dominant on the glass and finished with a 48-24 edge in rebounding.


Kentucky has another difficult road game against Tennessee on Thursday.

Mississippi State hosts Georgia on Thursday.

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