Although there are no pads worn in basketball, there is still the toughness factor that is seen.
On Monday night, the Mississippi State women's basketball didn't have it.
The Lady Bulldogs (1-1) fell to Hampton (2-0) 56-48 at Humphrey Coliseum.
"I have not had many teams over the years that I have walked into the locker room afterwards, and felt like we were out-toughed," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "They were more physical and aggressive."
The Lady Bulldogs trailed 44-32 with 9:14 remaining in the game. They went on a 10-0 run to pull within 44-42.
MSU sophomore center Martha Alwal shot a 15-footer, but missed and the Lady Pirates never let it get any closer.
"Our kids made a run," Schaefer said. "We get a decent look at a 15-footer. (I was) not real thrilled with the person that shot it from 15, but it still was a decent look. I was proud of our kids getting back it in and competing from that standpoint."
The Lady Bulldogs led 15-12 with 7:49 to go in the first half, but Hampton closed the half out on a 14-3 including a tipin with .6 seconds remaining on the clock by Alyssa Bennett.
"It is disappointing," Shaefer said. "We went over it. It's in the scouting report and it's on film."
Hampton jumped out to an early 6-0 lead to start the game and made it difficult for the Bulldogs to get off a good shot.
"They got us on our heels in the beginning penetrating to the basket," MSU senior guard Darriel Gaynor said. "We didn't play very good defense. They got a lot of offensive rebounds and put backs. They played harder than us (Monday)."
The Bulldogs shot 29.5 percent from the field versus Hampton's 34.5 percent. The defensive pressure by the Lady Pirates is what Schaefer credits to the poor shooting effort.
"You have to take your hat off to Hampton," Schaefer said. "I thought they were well-prepared. They took the fight to us especially at the guard position. They really dictated what we were able to do offensively with their pressure.
"We didn't get many open looks most of the night."
The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over 23 times, but 16 of those came in the second half.
"If you want to look for a bright spot, we only had seven turnovers the second half," Schaefer said. "Our point guards had seven. It's just kids that haven't played a lot."
The Lady Bulldogs were out-rebounded 44-to-29. Hampton pulled down 21 offensive boards to MSU's 10.
Hampton was led by Keiara Avant with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Bennett and Nicole Hamilton each had 14 points.
MSU was led by Alwal's 13 points. She also added nine rebounds. Kendra Grant had 11 points and Gaynor 10 points.
The Bulldogs will be back home this Friday when Louisiana Tech comes calling. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.