Bulldogs' perfect season halted in SEC Tournament final

South Carolina topped Mississippi State 62-51 to earn its fourth-straight SEC Tournament title.

Posted: Mar 4, 2018 8:28 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2018 10:56 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - For the No. 2 Mississippi State basketball team, the magic run ended Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena.

For the first time this season, the Bulldogs lost a basketball game.

Second-seeded South Carolina won its fourth-straight Southeastern Conference Tournament championship with a 62-51 win over top-seeded MSU before an MSU-dominated crowd of 8,215.

"Credit to South Carolina, they played very well today," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "They came out energized, ready to play. They do a great job of exposing your weaknesses. I thought this would be a game of toughness. I always talk about how tough our team is. I don't like we are out-toughed. I will wear that as a coach; that is on me.

"We were out-rebounded by 15. That's a toughness stat. In the first half, we settled for too many jump shots. They were fairly good looks. In the second half, we played harder, played better. We didn't have enough today. We missed our fair share of layups. We didn't make plays we normally make."

MSU (32-1) will go into the record books with the second-longest win streak in SEC women's basketball history after falling in the conference tournament championship game for a third-straight season.

The Bulldogs appear poised to host in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Pairings for that event will be announced at 6 p.m. CT on Monday, March 12 on ESPN. Coach Vic Schaefer will be carrying MSU to a fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

On this day, the Bulldogs could not find their normal rhythm from 3-point range, and early foul trouble for center Teaira McCowan helped allow South Carolina dominate in the paint.

The Gamecocks finished with a plus-15 rebounding advantage and also outscored the Bulldogs 36-20 in the paint. MSU finished 3 of 19 from 3-point range.

The game turned for good when MSU went the final 8:21 of the first half without a field goal.

The Bulldogs were held to five points in the second quarter and trailed 30-19 at halftime.

A layup by Morgan William brought the Bulldogs within five at 33-28 with 5:56 left in the third quarter. The teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter with the Gamecocks carrying 45-38 lead into the final quarter.

South Carolina would push the lead back out to 14 a couple of times in the early stages of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs had some steals but missed some shots close to the basket hurting the comeback attempt.

Victoria Vivians finished with 17 points, while William added 10 points for the Bulldogs. McCowan and Vivians each had six rebounds.

Vivians was named to the SEC All-Tournament team after averaging 17.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg in the Bulldogs' three tournament contests. She joins Texas A&M's Chennedy Carter and South Carolina's Tyasha Harris, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and A'Ja Wilson (MVP) on the team.

For the contest, MSU hit 20 of 58 shots from the field (34.5 percent), 3 of 19 shots from 3-point range (15.8 percent) and 8 of 10 shots from the foul line (80.0 percent). South Carolina hit 25 of 49 shots from the field (51.0 percent), 2 of 6 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 10 of 11 shots from the foul line (90.9 percent).

South Carolina held a 38-23 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and seven turnovers, while the Gamecocks had 14 assists and 15 turnovers.

South Carolina (26-6) received 16 points from Wilson, 14 points from Harris, 13 points from Herbert Harrigan and 11 points from Bianca Jackson. Wilson had a game-high eight rebounds for the Gamecocks.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7894177
DeSoto693279
Harrison512983
Jackson450384
Rankin389486
Madison381293
Lee351479
Forrest300778
Jones289184
Washington256499
Lafayette248343
Lauderdale2437134
Lamar224238
Oktibbeha200854
Bolivar200477
Neshoba1842111
Lowndes178362
Panola169139
Leflore165887
Sunflower160949
Warren154355
Monroe148172
Pontotoc146119
Marshall141229
Lincoln138957
Pike138256
Copiah136936
Coahoma124936
Scott124929
Yazoo121733
Grenada121638
Simpson121249
Union117425
Tate116039
Leake114640
Holmes114460
Pearl River112959
Itawamba112225
Adams107343
Prentiss104819
Wayne100821
Alcorn98712
George97918
Covington97026
Marion94642
Tippah88922
Newton85627
Chickasaw84026
Tallahatchie84025
Winston83321
Hancock81628
Tishomingo80041
Attala79026
Clarke74351
Clay68421
Jasper67917
Walthall63827
Calhoun62212
Noxubee59617
Smith59116
Montgomery54323
Claiborne53716
Tunica52917
Yalobusha52614
Lawrence51214
Perry48723
Carroll48012
Greene47318
Stone46414
Humphreys42816
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40511
Webster37013
Wilkinson33720
Benton3335
Kemper32215
Sharkey28314
Jefferson27510
Franklin2403
Choctaw2056
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
Calhoun422461
Etowah421450
Morgan407135
Houston371734
DeKalb336029
Elmore317353
St. Clair289142
Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 54°
Columbus
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Oxford
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 52°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather