Shamia Robinson was not slated to get any minutes Thursday night for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
It was a good thing she did.
Robinson logged a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes to lead the MSU women's basketball beat Jacksonville State 69-54 inside Humphrey Coliseum.
The former West Oktibbeha player and sophomore forward, has been fighting injury and has played very little this year for the Bulldogs.
"I had no intentions of playing Shamia Robinson (Thursday)," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "Not one minute.
"She played the way you are supposed to play for the most part. She played better than the ones I had on the bench and that's why she played."
Robinson knew coming off an injury she was not going to get a bunch of minutes.
"I actually expected that just coming in off an injury," Robinson said. "I really didn't expect to get much playing time. I told myself earlier in the day that if I got the opportunity to get in, I was going to make them want to keep me in. I was going to give it all I had every minute I was in."
Robinson had only played 6 minutes before Thursday night's game, but she was waiting her turn and was looking to make the best of it.
"Preparing for this game, I thought this is my time," Robinson said. "I'm finally back on the court. It's time for me to do what I do best and that's play ball. I had to get my mind ready for it."
The Gamecocks (0-12) jumped out to an early 16-8 lead with 10:02 remaining in the opening half. They extended it to 23-11 with 8:03 to go in the first half.
"We didn't handle the tip and I thought the rest of the half went from there," Schaefer said. "I am disappointed with our inability to be game ready. You don't have to look any further than right here. I will do a better job making sure we are ready when the lights come up. I call it a distraction game. It's the game before you go home for Christmas. If you're not focused, you can get one like that. I thought we looked like we were looking for the presents under the Christmas tree instead of looking for our post players in the hole."
The Bulldogs (6-5) scratched and clawed their way back into the ballgame. They took a 26-24 lead on a Robinson layup with 3:39 to go in the half.
"That second group we put in, they were pressing," Schaefer said. "The pressure bothered them. We forced 35 turnovers and 19 in the first half. I think that had a lot to do with it."
MSU took a 32-28 lead into the locker room at halftime and never looked back.
The Gamecocks were led by Miranda Cantrell's 15 points.
Kendra Grant was second in the scoring column for the Bulldogs with 15 points. Sherise Williams and Katia May each had nine points each for MSU.
The Bulldogs return home Friday, Dec. 28 for a game against Northwestern State. Action is set to begin at Humphrey Coliseum at 7 p.m.
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