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: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
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Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
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Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
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