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Vivians, McCowan on Wooden Award Top 20; MSU No. 2 in Coaches Poll

MSU and UConn, the nation’s only two undefeated teams, were the only schools to have multiple selections to the Top 20.

Posted: Feb. 6, 2018 11:40 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - One of the nation’s top-scoring duos, Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians and Teaira McCowan have been named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced.

Vivians and McCowan were named to the list the same night they helped the second-ranked Bulldogs improve to 24-0 overall and 10-0 in SEC play with an exciting 67-53 win against No. 6 South Carolina Monday night in front of a Humphrey Coliseum-record crowd of 10,794.

MSU and UConn, the nation’s only two undefeated teams, were the only schools to have multiple selections to the Top 20.

Monday’s win, combined with a 57-53 road win at No. 15 Missouri last Thursday, kept Vic Schaefer’s squad at No. 2 in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll, its 66th-straight week in the poll.

State has notched wins against four of the other five SEC teams in the poll, and it is 7-0 this year against teams ranked in this week’s poll. The Bulldogs have also claimed wins against four teams receiving votes.

Much of State’s success can be attributed to the play of Vivians and McCowan, who combine to average 38.9 ppg this season for the Bulldogs.

Vivians notched her 12th 20-point game of the year with 24 in Monday’s win against South Carolina. She has tallied double figures in 23 of the Bulldogs’ 24 games this season. The Carthage, Miss., native is third in the SEC in scoring for the year (19.6 ppg) and fourth in league games at 19.4 ppg.

Vivians is having a banner season in her final campaign, rating as one of two players in the SEC shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

McCowan has also put together a career season, averaging an SEC fourth-best 19.3 ppg and league-high 13.3 rpg this season. The Brenham, Texas, native, who is second in the league shooting 61.9 percent from the field, set the MSU single-season rebounds record as she grabbed her 318th of the season with 20 against South Carolina.

McCowan has scored at an 18.6 clip in SEC games, fourth-highest in the league, while grabbing 14.3 rebounds per game.

She has collected 16 double-doubles this season, fourth in the nation and the second-most in school history.

Vivians, McCowan and their teammates seek to keep the perfect start intact Thursday as they head to Florida for a 6 p.m. CT tip. The contest from Gainesville will be streamed online on SEC Network +.

USA Today Top 25 Poll – February 6, 2018

Rnk. Team Rcd. Pts. Pvs.

1 Connecticut (32) 22-0 800 1

2 Mississippi State 24-0 766 2

3 Baylor 22-1 733 3

4 Louisville 24-1 696 4

5 Notre Dame 22-2 676 5

6 Texas 19-4 628 8

7 UCLA 19-4 582 9

8 South Carolina 18-5 576 6

9 Maryland 20-3 546 10

10 Oregon 21-4 535 7

11 Tennessee 19-4 445 13

12 Florida State 19-4 425 11

13 Ohio State 19-5 391 17

14 Texas A&M 18-6 373 12

15 Missouri 18-5 349 15

16 Oregon State 17-6 297 16

17 Green Bay 21-2 253 20

18 Georgia 20-3 241 18

19 Duke 18-6 235 19

20 Michigan 19-6 212 14

21 Stanford 16-8 130 NR

22 South Florida 18-5 113 23

23 NC State 19-5 92 NR

24 TCU 16-6 76 22

25 Oklahoma State 16-6 66 24

Others Receiving Votes: West Virginia (17-7) 52; DePaul (18-6) 33; Mercer (22-2) 12; Arizona State (17-7) 11; Central Michigan (18-3) 10; Florida Gulf Coast (21-4) 9; Virginia (15-8) 9; Rutgers (18-7) 6; Miami (Fla.) (16-7) 5; Marquette (15-8) 4; LSU (15-6) 3; Quinnipiac (19-5) 3; Syracuse (17-7) 3; Buffalo (17-4) 2; California (15-8) 1; Iowa (18-6) 1.

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