Mississippi State is making the most of its First Four win.
The 11th-seeded Bulldogs upended No. 6 Creighton, 81-66 on Friday in one of the biggest upsets of the first day of the NCAA women's tournament. They took control early with a 25-16 first-quarter edge then hammered home the win with an 18-8 run in the third quarter.
The victory is Mississippi State's second straight after a 70-56 win over Illinois in the First Four to earn its way into NCAA tournament. The victories justify the Bulldogs' selection as one of the field's last four at-large teams.
Mississippi State controlled both sides of the court on Friday while shooting lights out from 3-point distance. Five Bulldogs players scored in double figures led by 20 points from junior guard JerKaila Jordan. She led the 3-point onslaught while connecting on 4 of 5 attempts from distance. As a team, MSU shot 11 of 19 (57.9%) from beyond the arc and 49.1% from the field.
The shooting effort was simply too much for Creighton to overcome as it hit fewer 3-pointers on nearly twice as many attempts. The Bluejays finished 9 of 34 (26.5%) from long distance while shooting 37.3% from the field. All-Big East guard Lauren Jensen led the Creighton effort with 22 points and five assists while fellow All-Big East guard Morgan Maly struggled to four points and five rebounds while shooting 1 of 11 from the field. She missed all eight of her 3-point attempts.
Mississippi State advances to Sunday's second round, where it will face No. 3 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat Southern Utah earlier Friday, 82-56. They're playing without All-America guard Olivia Miles, who's been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.