Bulldogs suffer first defeat at Texas

Mississippi State guard Victoria Vivians shoots against Texas guard Empress Davenport (1) during the second half. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Mississippi State guard Victoria Vivians shoots against Texas guard Empress Davenport (1) during the second half. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

AUSTIN, Texas. – A difficult night on the offensive end proved too much to overcome for the No. 9 Mississippi State basketball team as it fell 53-47 to No. 6 Texas in the first road contest of the season Wednesday night in Austin.

Texas held No. 9 MSU to a season-low 31.5 percent as the Bulldogs fell to 5-1 on the year.

MSU competed hard in its first road game of the season. It was also the Bulldogs’ first outing against a nationally-ranked opponent. Texas (6-0) entered the contest fresh off a 64-53 victory at Tennessee.

“I am proud of my team and the way they competed tonight. What a tough, physical basketball game,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “That is how we like it. We take great pride in being a tough, physical basketball team. Take your hat off to Texas. They can be described just like that. They guarded us harder than anyone has guarded us in a long time.

“If we guard out of bounds plays better and make five more free throws, we win the game. I couldn’t be prouder of my group.”

The Bulldog exceled on the defensive end as they held the Longhorns to a season-low 39.1 percent shooting from the field. MSU only allowed six fast-break points and forced 23 turnovers.

“Our kids really competed,” Schaefer said. “A lot of people wanted to know if we were for real or if we were 5-0 against a soft schedule. I think we proved we are for real, at least in my mind we did. This is a good series for us. I think we are both similar in a lot of ways. This was a great opportunity for us.”

Texas scored the game’s first six points and never trailed in the contest. Back-to-back baskets by Morgan William and Victoria Vivians got the Bulldogs on the board.

The Bulldogs were then held better than four minutes without a field goal. The Longhorns built a 14-5 lead late in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, MSU found more consistency on the offensive end and cut the lead to six points twice. Texas led 26-21 halftime.

In the second half, the Maroon and White continued to compete but could not put together a game-changing offensive run.

A layup by Sherise Williams had MSU within 30-26 with 7:03 left in the third quarter. The Longhorns would later use a 7-0 run for a 39-28 lead with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs were held to one field goal over the final four minutes and missed six straight shots before a basket by Dominique Dillingham in the closing seconds created the final margin.

Vivians, a Wooden Award candidate, led the Bulldogs with 12 points and seven rebounds.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 17 of 54 shots from the field (31.5 percent), 2 of 16 shots from 3-point range (12.5 percent) and 11 of 20 shots from the foul line (55.0 percent). The Longhorns hit 18 of 46 shots from the field (39.1 percent), 2 of 5 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 15 of 26 shots from the foul line (57.7 percent).

Texas held a 41-30 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had four assists and 19 turnovers, while the Longhorns had 12 assists and 23 turnovers.

Texas received a double-double from Imani Boyette, who had a game-high 21 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

MSU returns to the Humphrey Coliseum for a 2 p.m. start Sunday against Tennessee State. The contest will be televised nationally by SEC Network +.

(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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