STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State looked to its bench for a spark Thursday night.
Shamia Robinson delivered that spark. Robinson posted her first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs rallied past Jacksonville State 69-54 in a women's basketball game played at the Humphrey Coliseum.
"Preparing for the game, I thought this was my time to get back on the court. This is what I do best, play ball," Robinson said. "I expected to not get much playing time coming off an injury, but I knew that I would give it my all if I went into the game."
MSU (6-5) battled past a sluggish first half, falling down by as many as 12 points. The Bulldogs used an 11-0 run in the second half to take control of the game. The victory was MSU's fifth straight at home.
"We didn't do a good job controlling the tip and the first half just went from there," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "We were not ready to play when the lights came on and I will take the responsibility for that. I will never complain about our skill set. However, I want to always respect the game and play the game with pride."
In the second half, the Bulldogs received a spark from both Robinson and Brittany Young. Robinson had a personal-best 17 points and added 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Young added a career-high six points and matched her MSU high with five rebounds in 17 minutes of play. The Bulldogs got a combined total of 121 minutes from the bench.
"We are going to play the players that work the hardest," Schaefer said. "Shamia and Brittany have worked hard and took advantage of their opportunities tonight."
"Anytime I can come in for Kendra (Grant), Sherise (Williams) or anybody that plays the three or the four, I want to be a relief for them," Young said. "Everybody plays really hard, so I know that I have to be productive and play with a lot of intensity while I am in there."
MSU forced a season-high 35 turnovers on the defensive end. The Bulldogs also collected a season-high 17 steals.
Jacksonvile State (0-12) held the better of the competition for most of the first half. The Gamecocks built an early 12-2 lead as the hosts failed to maintain the energy level of the guests.
The Gamecocks stretched the lead to as many as 12 midway through the first half. A jumper by JSU's Destany Mclin ran the advantage to 23-11 with 8:03 left in the half.
The Bulldogs closed within four on two free throws by Carnecia Williams. A 3-point basket by MSU's Darriel Gaynor tied the game at 24 with 3:54 left before halftime. The Bulldogs eventually scored nine straight points and took a 30-24 lead.
MSU forced 19 first-half turnovers and led 32-28 at halftime.
In the second half, the Gamecocks trimmed the lead to three before MSU took control with a 9-2 run. A layup by Katia May placed the Maroon and White on top 43-33 with 13:23 left before halftime.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 24 of 65 shots from the field (36.9 percent), 2 of 9 shots from 3-point range (22.2 percent) and 19 of 31 shots from the foul line (61.3 percent). The Gamecocks hit 19 of 54 shots from the field (35.2 percent), 1 of 8 shots from 3-point range (12.5 percent) and 15 of 26 shots from the foul line (57.7 percent).
Jacksonville State held a 45-43 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 22 turnovers, while the Gamecocks had eight assists and 35 turnovers.
Grant added 15 points for MSU.
Miranda Cantrell paced Jacksonvile State with 15 points.
MSU will now take a break for the Christmas holiday. The Bulldogs resume their five-game homestand with Northwestern State at 7 p.m., Dec. 28 and Troy at 7 p.m., Dec. 29.