LAS VEGAS -- Chloe Bibby hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points, Rickea Jackson had a double-double and No. 15 Mississippi State opened the Duel in the Desert with an 86-61 win over South Florida on Thursday night.
Jackson had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (10-2), who took control with a 17-2 run in the first quarter for a 19-4 lead. MSU went 7 for 9 with Bibby making all three of her 3s and had all five in the first quarter, which ended with the Bulldogs on top 29-15.
Jessika Carter had 15 points and Jordan Danberry 12 for Mississippi State, which will face the winner of Virginia and host UNLV in the championship on Saturday. The Bulldogs won the tournament in 2017.
Maria Alverez made four 3-pointers and scored 12 points to lead the Bulls (7-5). USF only shot 35.5% and had 24 turnovers the Bulldogs turned into 27 points.
Mississippi State shot 46% and had a 13-point advantage at the foul line. The Bulldogs had 15 steals, five by Myah Taylor and four by Danberry.
The Bulls battled back to get within one on an Alvarez 3-pointer midway through the third quarter but a 13-0 run put MSU back in control and a Jackson jumper in the final minute sent the Blldogs into the fourth quarter up 66-53.