STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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: 15752

Reported Deaths: 739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18075

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather