NEW ORLEANS, La. – Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Vic Scahefer got the fast start he wanted in his team’s first road game of the season Saturday afternoon.
The 25th-ranked Bulldogs scored 15 of the game’s first 17 points and cruised to an 85-45 road win at New Orleans behind 16 points from freshman Victoria Vivians and five total players in double figures.
With the win, MSU improved to 6-0. The Bulldogs have now won 12 straight in the series from the Privateers.
“I was proud of how we played in the second half, coming out of the locker room,” Schaefer said. “I thought the press was good. We forced 28 turnovers. We only had 11 of those in the first half, but we really came out and set a tempo.”
Vivians was followed in the scoring column by Kayla Nevitt, who had a career-high 15 points. Dominique Dilligham added 12 points, 10 in the second half, while Jerica James and Morgan William each added 10 points.
A 3-point play by VIvians helped MSU out to an early 11-2 lead. A layup by Ketara Chapel capped the game-opening 15-2 run as the Bulldogs held the Privateers to one field goal over the first nine-plus minutes of play.
The Bulldogs again used defensive pressure to piece together a 12-0 run for a 33-7 lead with 6:47 left in the half. That play included some strong play from Martha Alwal, who was playing in her first game this season.
A 3-pointer by James ran the MSU advantage to 41-21 at the intermission.
Vivians and Dillingham opened the second half with 10 points each to open a 51-24 advantage with 17:16 left. A 12-0 run extended the advantage to 63-36 with 11:46 left to play.
Nevitt added nine of her 15 points in the second stanza, going 3 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line.
“Kayla (Nevitt) and Victoria (Vivians) in the second half were really good,” Schaefer said. “Victoria and Dominique (Dillingham) put us on their backs to start the second half. Victoria made some shots early, and on the defensive end, she made some adjustments and that was good. Dominique always works hard on the defensive end and she made some shots.
“Overall, we have to keep working. We had some things exposed today, so we have to go the practice floor and keep working.”
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 25 of 63 shots from the field (39.7 percent), 8 of 19 shots from the 3-point range (42.1 percent) and 27 of 39 shots from the foul line (69.2 percent). The Privateers hit 15 of 51 shots from the field (29.4 percent), 0 of 8 shots from 3-point range (0.0 percent) and 15 of 26 shots from the foul line (57.7 percent).
MSU held a 42-38 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 13 assists and 13 turnovers, while the Privateers had seven assists and 28 turnovers.
Sherise Williams had a team-high eight rebounds for MSU. William had six assists and four steals, while Vivians also had four steals. Always had four points and six rebounds in eight minutes of play in her return.
UNO (0-3) received 11 points from Mathilde Fogelstrom.
MSU will host North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Humphrey Coliseum. The contest will be broadcast online and via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +.
(From MSU Media Relations)