STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Teaira McCowan had one of the best nights of her career, finishing with 26 points and 24 rebounds to lead No. 7 Mississippi State past No. 15 South Carolina 89-74 on Thursday night.
Mississippi State (17-1, 5-0) beat the Gamecocks for just the second time in 14 tries dating back to 2011. It was a tight game for most of the night, but the Bulldogs never trailed in the fourth quarter, largely thanks to McCowan's dominant game in the post.
The 6-foot-7 All-American earned her 54th career double-double with one of her best performances. She had 12 offensive rebounds and shot 9 of 15 from the field. She matched South Carolina in rebounding all by herself, 24-24.
Jordan Danberry added 20 points for the Bulldogs.
South Carolina (12-5, 4-1) was led by Te'a Cooper's 27 points. Tyasha Harris added 17. The Gamecocks shot a decent 44 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers, but were overwhelmed in the post.
Mississippi State had a 48-43 halftime lead. McCowan had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs before the break. Cooper had 16 points for the Gamecocks.
Mississippi State forward Chloe Bibby went down with an apparent left leg injury less than a minute into the game. She was in obvious pain, had to be helped off the floor and didn't return.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore has been a key part of the Bulldogs' starting lineup this season and one of the few consistent outside shooters. She's averaging 12.6 points per game while shooting 45 percent from 3-point range.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks had their eight-game winning streak snapped. South Carolina's still a very good team, but McCowan exposed some deficiencies in the Gamecocks' post game.
Mississippi State: This is the McCowan that the Bulldogs need if they're going to make another run to the Final Four. She was unstoppable on the glass. Mississippi State's new worry is how it'll get outside shooting if Bibby is out for any length of time.
South Carolina returns home to face Missouri on Monday.
Mississippi State gets a week off before traveling to face Florida next Thursday.
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