STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Mississippi State’s Ro Johnson shined on her Senior Day.
Johnson scored a career-high 29 points as No. 4 MSU beat Southern Mississippi 91-56 in a women’s basketball game played before a crowd of 5,321 at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs shot 45.2 percent from the floor and scored 31 points in two different quarters while moving to 3-0 on the season.
MSU also placed four others in double figures – Teaira McCowan with 17 points, Victoria Vivians with 15 points and Chloe Bibby and Blair Schaefer with 10 points.
MSU won its 25th straight non-conference regular-season game, while also grabbing the all-time lead in the series with its in-state rivals, at 23-22, with a sixth-straight victory.
“Proud of our team and the crowd today,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “Our fans were great today. They were into it. It is great to watch this team share the basketball. When we make shots like we made shots today, it’s not only fun to watch, but it’s fun to coach.
“Our chemistry is just spreading to our team. This team can share the ball make shots.”
The Bulldogs set the tone on both ends of the floor in the first quarter. In that quarter, the Bulldogs hit 6 of 14 3-point shots en route to a 31-point quarter. In the opening quarter, the Bulldogs allowed eight points and forced nine turnovers.
Schaefer capped a 13-0 run with a 3-point basket as the Bulldogs built a 20-6 lead in less than seven minutes. The Bulldogs would later score the final 11 points of the quarter, including a quarter-ending basket by Chloe Bibby for a 31-8 lead.
In the second quarter, the offense slowed down with the Bulldogs only managing one field goal over the first five minutes. The Lady Eagles pulled within 15 three times.
A layup by Johnson capped a 10-0 run as the Bulldogs led 48-23.
MSU hit eight first-half 3-pointers and led 48-26 at halftime.
A basket by McCowan ran the lead to 30 at 65-35 with 4:48 left third quarter. The Bulldogs scored the final seven points of the quarter to finish another 31-point quarter with a 79-42 lead.
For the contest, MSU hit 33 of 73 shots from the field (45.2 percent), 13 of 29 shots from 3-point range (44.8 percent) and 12 of 19 shots from the foul line (63.2 percent). Southern Miss hit 23 of 49 shots from the field (46.9 percent), 5 of 14 shots from 3-point range (35.7 percent) and 5 of 6 shots from the foul line (83.3 percent).
MSU held a 44-28 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 25 assists and 10 turnovers, while the Lady Eagles had 12 assists and 26 turnovers. The 25 assists were the most in a game since the 2015-16 season.
McCowan collected a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds. Morgan William and Jazzmun Holmes combined for 16 assists and one turnover from the point guard position. McCowan finished with three blocked shots.
“Our point guard play is really special right now,” Schaefer said. “We had 10 turnovers and forced 26 turnovers. When you have point guards not turning the ball over, you will always have a chance to win.”
Southern Miss (3-1) received 11 points from Megan Brown and 10 points from Shonte Hailes.
MSU returns to action this weekend in Cancun Challenge. First up will be Arizona State in a 12:30 p.m. start on Thanksgiving Day from Cancun, Mexico.