STARKVILLE – Victoria Vivians scored 22 points and freshman Teaira McCowan added 21 points and 11 rebounds to pace the No. 10 Mississippi State women’s basketball team to a 107-43 victory against Grambling State Saturday in the Humphrey Coliseum.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs moved to 2-0 on the young season by placing four players in double figures. In addition to the pair of 20-point efforts from Vivians and McCowan, Chinwe Okorie and Morgan William each added 12 points.
Okorie also pulled down 11 rebounds to claim the second double-double of her career. The Lagos, Nigeria, native claimed six of her rebounds on the offensive glass while McCowan had nine.
As a team, the Bulldogs finished with 34 offensive rebounds, the most in a game going back to 2005-06.
“Our kids deserve a lot of credit for how they made Grambling play,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I am really proud of how the kids played. We did a great job of getting the ball inside. I’m really pleased with how we shared the basketball. The second group that came on in the first half did a great job of sharing the basketball and flipping the floor.”
The Bulldogs started the strong offensive play from the opening tip. A 10-0 run covered the first 1:42 of the game and included two 3-point plays by William. The lead stayed in that range until a 9-0 run pushed MSU to a 28-10 advantage late in the first quarter.
After one quarter, MSU held a 32-12 lead and were never threatened after that. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 50-26 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs turned up the pressure on defense, holding the Tigers to five points in that period. For the contest, the Bulldogs forced 29 turnovers and scored 40 points off the takeaways.
Vivians, the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 Watch List candidate, sparked the Bulldogs in the second half, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range, to score 21 of her 22 points.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 42 of 93 shots from the field (45.2 percent), 8 of 23 shots from 3-point range (34.8 percent) and 15 of 19 shots from the foul line (78.9 percent). The Tigers hit 17 of 47 shots from the field (36.2 percent), 0 of 10 shots from 3-point range (0 percent) and 9 of 15 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent).
MSU held a 57-27 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 25 assists and nine turnovers, while the Tigers had six assists and 29 turnovers. MSU claimed 40 points off those Grambling miscues.
State out-scored Grambling 56-18 in the paint and had a 31-7 edge in second-chance points.
“We did a great job of using our size today,” Schaefer said. “We had a huge advantage there and we really got on the boards. We had 34 offensive rebounds and that’s a great number. I was really proud of how we attacked. We hit seven 3-point shots in the second half and that opened up the inside even more.”
Grambling State (1-3) received 10 points from Darae Taylor.
Mississippi State will hold its second Hail State Hoops Luncheon of the season Monday at 11:30 a.m. Fans can RSVP by phone (662-325-0198) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Bulldogs return to the court Tuesday, continuing the season-opening five-game homestand against Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.
(From MSU Media Relations)