The crowd erupted as freshman guard Myah Taylor sunk her second shot from the free throw line to get the bulldogs to 100 with nine seconds left in the game, as Mississippi State University women’s basketball went on to win 100-67 over University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Three pointers and three veteran players accounted for half of MSU’s scoring in the preseason exhibition.
”My three senior guards had 50 of our 100 points, and Ro [Roshunda Johnson] shot it really well,” Head coach Vic Schaefer said. “She picked us up in the second half when Blair cooled off, obviously we had a hard time with them in certain areas and that will give us good film to teach with.”
Teaira McCowan, a junior center from Brenham, Texas, dominated the paint, scouring 20 points and picking up 12 rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time. Her size helped her down low in the paint against a very small UAFS team.
“Going up against a team like Arkansas-Fort Smith, when they don’t really have the size that we have, you use your skills,” McCowan said. “Use what you learn in the offseason and in the summer time, what we have been working on as post players.”
It was also a lights-out performance by Blair Schaefer, a senior guard from Starkville, Mississippi, who scored 18 points from six three point shots. She attributed her chances to her teammates who had confidence in her shot.
“My teammates were looking for me, and they have all the confidence in me,” Schaefer said. “They know that if they are going to find me on the floor they want me to shoot it, and I want to shoot it and make it for them.”
Despite dominating every aspect of the game, Schaefer felt there were some things they could improve on; such as not fouling, which is something they struggled with tonight as they had 19. The team also struggled with free throws, where they were 7-16 tonight.
“In the second half we just started so poorly, but I do think because of our depth we can play some different lineups,” Schaefer said. “Again, we got to stay out of foul trouble, we had foul trouble for most of the night, and we have to be better than that.”
MSU’s next game will be at home against the University of Virginia on the Nov. 10, and it will be a different test for this team. Coach Schaefer wished for a few more games to get into good form before playing a tough non-conference opponent.
“Usually we play our way into shape, unfortunately because we open with Virginia, we just don’t have the luxury of having another game like tonight,” Schaefer said. “Where we can kind of play our way into shape, and we are going to have to be functioning at a very high level next friday.”