No. 4 Mississippi State University women’s basketball never trailed in their 76-45 victory over the University of Mississippi on Thursday night.
With a crowd of 7,161 in attendance, MSU head coach Vic Schaefer described the Hump as “electric from the get-go.”
He credited fans, and praised the students after the game.
“Our student section was amazing,” Schaefer said. “I want to compliment our students and let them know that we appreciate them.”
MSU got off to a quick 14-0 start with senior guard Blair Schaefer hitting back-to-back threes to open up the game. State held a 22-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, the fast start slowed down in the second quarter with MSU (18-0, 4-0 SEC) only scoring 12 points and Ole Miss (11-6, 1-3 SEC) scoring 13. In part, this was because many of the starters got into early foul trouble. Coach Schaefer said his players, “were trying to do too much,” and this got them in trouble.
On the bench’s offensive struggles, he said he is not worried about it right now.
“It was a weird game,” Schaefer said. “We didn’t have the chemistry offensively tonight, maybe give Ole Miss credit for that. They are good at what they do.”
What was important to Coach Schaefer was they stuck to their game plan and executed well.
“I’m proud of our defense,” Coach Schaefer said.
In the fourth quarter, MSU put it away, scoring 17 points to Ole Miss’ 7 points, keeping the Bulldogs undefeated on the season.
There was an obvious pick for the star of the night in MSU’s leading scorer and rebounder, junior center Teaira McCowan, who was extremely efficient.
McCowan tied her school record for field goal percentage in this game, making 92.3 percent of her shots and going 12-13. She finished with 25-points.
Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell credited McCowan after the game.
“I don’t think there’s anyone on the Mississippi State men’s team, or even the Ole Miss men’s team for that matter, that can guard her,” Insell said. “I think she’s the best post player in the state right now, male or female.”
It is not just the points she puts up that makes McCowan stand out, she also grabbed 13 rebounds and had four powerful blocks, emphasizing her dominance in the paint.
Ultimately, this was an important game for Mississippi State fans after a disappointing Egg Bowl, as well as the men’s loss to Ole Miss last Saturday.
As for the seniors on this team, they have never lost to Ole Miss.
“We’ve got one more,” senior guard Victoria Vivians said. “After me, they have to continue it on.”
Vivians only has to beat Ole Miss one more time to complete the sweep throughout her career. MSU will play Ole Miss in Oxford on January 28.
State’s next game is on Sunday against the University of Alabama. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. and ESPNU will broadcast the game.