Porsha Porsha has been one of the most consistent performers for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team this season.
Whether it has been darting to the basket, draining 3-pointers, or ballhawking opponents, the senior guard has helped anchor the backcourt with classmate Diamber Johnson.
But MSU may need Porter to do more if it is going to realize a goal she still believes is attainable.
“I think we have some more time to get ourselves together as a team and focus on winning the next 10 or 11 games,” Porter said. “I think have an opportunity to go to the NCAA tournament. All it is is we have to be focused and willing to have each others’ back and to play hard for 40 minutes.”
Porter will try to set that example at 7 tonight when MSU (11-6, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) plays at the University of Mississippi (12-6, 2-3) at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
MSU is coming off a 68-51 loss to then-No. 19 Georgia on Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum. Porter had 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals in the loss. Her statistical line was just another example of the consistency she has brought to the lineup nearly every game.
Porter was at less than 100 percent due to illness in MSU’s 53-48 loss to LSU in its SEC opener. That sickness forced her to miss the next game, an 88-40 loss at then-No. 11 University of Kentucky.
Now that Porter is back or close to 100 percent, she is focused on being even more consistent and helping the Lady Bulldogs gain their rhythm to make a postseason push.
“I think we should be 3-1 right now, but we did it to ourselves,” Porter said. “We have to overcome that and move on and just stop the unforced turnovers. We’re not being patient with each other. Sometimes we’re going fast, fast, fast and we have to let the game come to us and do what we do best. If we do that we will have a better chance to beat other teams.”
Porter is second to Johnson on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game. That total puts her sixth n the SEC. She also is third on the team in rebounding (4.9 per game) and the league leader in steals (3.4). With 55 steals, though, Porter often falls victim to trying to do things too quickly. Her 34 assists are outweighed by 55 turnovers, which are the most on the team. Johnson and freshman point guard Jerica James are the only two MSU players who have more assists than turnovers this season.
MSU coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said Porter has to find a better balanced between penetrating and overpenetrating, which plays into the communication she said the team is still building. She said the team will look to Johnson and Porter to continue to make things happen.
“They have to make a lot of things happen and to create shots for themselves and for others,” Fanning-Otis said. “They also have to get into the interior and have to have the courage go through crowds.”
Porter also feels MSU has to do a better job on defense. She said the Lady Bulldogs have to develop better chemistry on that end of the floor so they are communicating better and reading each other.
“We have to trust one another, and we have to have one anothers’ back, and sometimes we don’t do that,” Porter said. “Sometimes we’re putting ourselves in a bad situation because everybody is out for themselves and we don’t have team defense. If we have that trust we will have a better record.”
Adam Minichino is the former Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.