McCowan lifts No. 5 Mississippi State into SEC finals

MSU is 29-2.

Posted: Mar 9, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2019 8:33 PM

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Teaira McCowan had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead No. 5 Mississippi State into the Southeastern Conference tournament finals for a fourth straight season with a 71-56 victory over Missouri on Saturday.

Anriel Howard finished with 19 points and 10 boards as the Bulldogs (29-2) pulled away in the final two quarters to beat the only SEC opponent they've lost to the past two regular seasons.

Mississippi State will face 10th-seeded Arkansas for the SEC tournament title.

Sophie Cunningham scored a season-high 33 points for Missouri (23-10). She had five of the Tigers' nine 3-pointers before fouling out.

When Missouri (23-10) cut a 16-point lead down to 43-38 off Cunningham's 11 straight points late in the third quarter, SEC player of the year McCowan powered an 11-3 surge with eight points.

Mississippi State lost the previous three tournament finals, all to South Carolina. The four-time defending SEC tournament champion Gamecocks were beaten by Arkansas in Friday's quarterfinals.

As they did in their quarterfinal win over Tennessee, the Bulldogs started slowly and with Cunningham scoring seven points for the Tigers, found themselves down 14-11. But as in the 83-68 win over the Lady Vols, the Bulldogs got it rolling in the second quarter.

McCowan was front and center in the charge with four baskets, all from close in. Howard did her thing from the outside, too, with a 3-pointer and another jumper to put Mississippi State up by 13.

McCowan accomplished her 26th game this season with double figure points and rebounds with 12 points and 10 boards by halftime.

When Missouri upset the Bulldogs last month — Mississippi State's only SEC regular-season loss the past two seasons — it used its pressure to force Mississippi State into 24 turnovers. This time, the Bulldogs easily moved up and down the court and had just three miscues the first 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Missouri: The Tigers, led by three-time all-SEC first team selection Cunningham, will be a difficult out wherever they're sent when NCAA women's tournament selections are announced March 18. Cunningham was her team's lone double-digit scorer. Missouri will need more production from the others if it hopes to stick around in the postseason.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs entered this week with a mission and have relentlessly moved forward toward their first-ever SEC tournament title. Howard, the Texas A&M grad transfer, has turned her game up another notch and seemed poised to take Mississippi State on a strong run through the NCAAs.

UP NEXT

Missouri will await a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Mississippi State plays either No. 15 Texas A&M or Arkansas in the championship Sunday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69374

Reported Deaths: 1989
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5700119
DeSoto371031
Harrison260136
Madison245569
Jackson231444
Rankin230735
Jones193159
Forrest182656
Washington170142
Lee152142
Lauderdale141592
Neshoba128892
Lamar123115
Bolivar113635
Oktibbeha113339
Warren112535
Lowndes109239
Panola106816
Sunflower105625
Scott101120
Lafayette98719
Copiah96228
Leflore94966
Pike94037
Holmes91049
Grenada85123
Pontotoc8429
Yazoo84113
Lincoln83442
Monroe82155
Simpson80631
Leake79526
Coahoma78113
Wayne78021
Tate74330
Marshall7129
Marion68420
Union66216
Adams63225
Winston62916
Covington62214
George5956
Pearl River55940
Newton54511
Tallahatchie54111
Attala52725
Walthall50221
Chickasaw47619
Noxubee46112
Tishomingo4377
Alcorn4355
Calhoun4259
Prentiss42310
Claiborne40914
Smith40613
Hancock40214
Clay40114
Jasper3949
Itawamba38710
Tippah37414
Tunica3587
Clarke33626
Montgomery3295
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31610
Humphreys29712
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25612
Perry2428
Amite2376
Webster23712
Kemper23314
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21513
Stone2115
Sharkey2045
Jefferson1957
Benton1451
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 100801

Reported Deaths: 1814
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13366246
Mobile10581212
Montgomery6825151
Madison546934
Tuscaloosa426979
Unassigned392566
Baldwin367029
Shelby333437
Marshall319438
Lee270847
Morgan241819
Etowah218034
DeKalb183414
Calhoun181918
Elmore176039
Walker154465
Houston142813
Russell13892
St. Clair136320
Limestone135913
Dallas133624
Franklin129722
Cullman123012
Colbert121517
Lauderdale119020
Autauga116222
Escambia108817
Talladega105414
Jackson10264
Tallapoosa87579
Chambers84738
Dale84329
Clarke82610
Chilton8189
Blount8165
Butler77036
Coffee7656
Covington74021
Pike7137
Marion58226
Barbour5796
Lowndes57124
Marengo56616
Hale48526
Bullock48111
Winston45711
Perry4454
Bibb4445
Washington44412
Wilcox43410
Monroe4236
Pickens4089
Randolph40211
Conecuh39310
Sumter36618
Lawrence3542
Macon33914
Crenshaw3326
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2768
Clay2675
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25211
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
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