Hot shooting propels Bulldogs past Arkansas in SEC home opener

MSU visits LSU on Sunday.

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 10:54 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – No. 5/3 Mississippi State set a school record for points in a conference game during a 111-69 win over Arkansas in women’s basketball action Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Bulldogs (16-0, 2-0) won their conference home opener while topping 100 points for the fourth time this season. MSU scored 64-second half-points, while shooting 70.6 percent from the floor in the final half to expand on a 10-point halftime lead.

“Arkansas played extremely well,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “They played hard and had a great plan. This team is not what we have been like defensively in the past, but offensively, we are super-ultra talented.

“In the first half, I was coaching heart and that is discouraging. This group is a challenge. It’s a struggle to get this team to play hard defensively. Victoria took over the game in the third quarter. When she puts her mind to it, she can be hard to handle.”

All five MSU starters were in double figures. Victoria Vivians led the way with 29 points, followed by Teaira McCowan and Morgan William each with 18 points, Blair Schaefer with 14 points and Roshunda Johnson with 13 points.

Johnson notched a double-double as she had 10 assists. Vivians and McCowan fell short with nine and eight rebounds respectively.

Both teams started strong offensively. Arkansas built an early 7-2 lead. MSU responded with a 12-4 run for a 14-11 lead. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to six at 22-16 before leading 22-20 after one quarter.

Arkansas battled back for its final lead at 25-22. A 3-point by Vivians gave the Bulldogs the lead for good at 30-27 with 6:34 left in the half. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 11 before leading 49-39 at halftime.

The Bulldogs seized control in the third quarter with the lead being run to 20 on a basket by Teaira McCowan at 71-51 with 2:51 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs scored 32 points and blew the contest open with a 15-0 run midway through the fourth quarter.

For the contest, MSU hit 44 of 76 shots from the field (57.9 percent), 10 of 20 shots from 3-point range (50.0 percent) and 13 of 14 shots from the foul line (92.9 percent). Arkansas hit 28 of 62 shots from the field (45.2 percent), 6 of 18 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 7 of 12 shots from the foul line (58.3 percent).

MSU held a 40-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 25 assists and four turnovers, while the Razorbacks had 12 assists and 16 turnovers.

Arkansas (10-5, 1-1) received 15 points from Jailyn Mason, 13 points each from Kiara Williams and Devin Cosper. Cosper had a team-high seven rebounds.

MSU takes to the road for a contest at LSU Sunday. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet at 1 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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