Bulldogs rout Mississippi Valley State

Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan (15) rebounds against Mississippi Valley State's Feleshia Walters (40) during the first half. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan (15) rebounds against Mississippi Valley State’s Feleshia Walters (40) during the first half. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State topped the 100-point mark for a second straight game with a 109-37 win against Mississippi Valley State in a women’s basketball Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Bulldogs, who earned a program-best No. 8 ranking from the Associated Press Monday and moved up to No. 10 in Tuesday’s USA Today Coaches Poll, improved to 3-0 by shooting 49.5 percent from the field and by holding a commanding 30-plus advantage on the boards. MSU entered play fresh off a 107-43 victory over another Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent, Grambling State.

Sophomore Victoria Vivians paced MSU with 22 points against Grambling, and she ignited the Bulldogs Tuesday, notching all 14 of her points over seven minutes in the first quarter.

“It’s always good to get a win,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “Victoria really came out ready to play tonight. She had good focus and made some shots early. Offensively, she was good early. The team was not necessarily as crisp as we needed to be, so it was a good thing she got us going.”

The Bulldogs used six straight points from Chinwe Okorie to cap a game-opening 9-0 run. From there, MSU used a 12-2 run to open a 21-2 advantage. Vivians hit a pair of 3-point baskets during that run. It was capped by back-to-back baskets from Blair Schaefer.

MSU stretched the lead to 31-7 after one quarter of play. From there, the Bulldogs continue to dominate on both ends of the floor. The second unit, led by Kayla Nevitt, Teaira McCowan, Blair Schaefer and LaKaris Salter, continued to apply the pressure.

The Bulldogs shot 55.6 percent from the field and led 59-14 at halftime. The 72-point final margin of victory tied for the third largest in school history.

MSU took the court Tuesday night bolstering the school’s highest-ever ranking.

“I want us to live like a Top 10 team,” Vic Schaefer said. “I want us to see what a Top 10 team looks like in the classroom, on the practice court and on the floor during a game. This is new territory for us. It is going to get harder. I want us to ready to live in that kind of moment.”

Nevitt finished with a career-high 20 points – she was one of six players in double figures. McCowan had her second double-double in as many games with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Salter added 15 points, while Vivians had 14 points, Okorie had 10 points and Dominique Dillingham had 10 points.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 45 of 91 shots from the field (49.5 percent), 10 of 28 shots from 3-point range (35.7 percent) and 9 of 11 shots from the foul line (81.8 percent). The Devilettes hit 16 of 50 shots from the field (32.0 percent), 4 of 13 shots from 3-point range (30.8 percent) and 1 of 3 shots from the foul line (33.3 percent).

MSU held a 55-25 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 30 assists and 10 turnovers, while the Devilettes had seven assists and 34 turnovers.

MVSU received 15 points from Christina Reed.

MSU, who hosts Norfolk State at 6 p.m. Friday, climbed one spot in this week’s coaches poll. The Bulldogs are one of four SEC teams in the Top 10, joining No. 2 South Carolina, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 9 Texas A&M. Kentucky landed just behind State at No. 11.

 USA Today Coaches Poll – November 24, 2015

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Connecticut (32) 2-0 800 1
2 South Carolina 4-0 757 2
3 Notre Dame 4-0 733 3
4 Baylor 4-0 694 4
5 Tennessee 4-0 659 5
6 Maryland 3-0 655 6
7 Oregon St. 3-0 590 7
8 Texas 3-0 571 8
9 Texas A&M 4-0 531 12
10 Mississippi St. 2-0 498 11
11 Kentucky 4-0 460 13
12 Duke 3-1 386 9
13 Florida St. 2-1 367 14
14 Ohio St. 2-2 347 14
15 California 4-0 293 21
16 Stanford 3-1 287 10
17 South Florida 2-1 282 17
18 Arizona State 1-1 231 18
19 Northwestern 3-0 229 22
20 DePaul 3-1 198 19
21 Iowa 4-0 147 23
22 Michigan St 3-0 121 NR
23 George Washington 3-1 108 20
24 Oklahoma 3-1 89 24
25 Seton Hall 4-0 80 NR

Dropped Out: No. 16 Louisville, No. 24 Princeton.

Others receiving votes: Louisville 58; Dayton 50; UCLA 31; Syracuse 29; Nebraska 29; Miami (Fla.) 17; Princeton 12; Virginia 9; Washington 7; North Carolina State 7; Oregon 6; St. John’s 6; Villanova 4; Penn State 4; Albany 4; Gonzaga 4; Chattanooga 3; Army 2; Tulane 2; Western Kentucky 1; Arkansas State 1; East Carolina 1.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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