Mississippi State beats Vanderbilt 86-70; three Bulldogs score 20

Teaira McCowan scored 23, Anriel Howard had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Andra Espinoza-Hunter added 20 points.

Posted: Feb 24, 2019 11:23 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State endured another Southeastern Conference test on Sunday, this time against one of the teams at the bottom of the league standings.

The sixth-ranked Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to beat Vanderbilt 86-70, but not before the Commodores put plenty of pressure on them.

Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer is just hoping to survive the grind of the SEC schedule and learn from mistakes as the postseason approaches.

"These games aren't getting any easier," Schaefer said. "I really want to commend (Vanderbilt coach) Stephanie White and those kids. They really competed. I'm really impressed with their approach and how hard they played. I'm proud of our kids for getting through a challenging day."

Mississippi State wasn't at its best but did have three players score 20 points or more for the first time since 1999. Teaira McCowan scored 23, Anriel Howard had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Andra Espinoza-Hunter added 20 points.

Espinoza-Hunter has scored at least 20 in two of the past three games. The sophomore transfer from UConn jumped into the starting lineup after Chloe Bibby tore an ACL against South Carolina.

"I'm starting to get more comfortable," Espinoza-Hunter said. "I'm talking to Chloe a little bit when we're at home and she's telling me what I need to hear. It goes back to my teammates and my coaches. Their confidence in me helps my own confidence. I give all credit to them."

The Bulldogs (25-2, 13-1 SEC) got off to a sluggish start, shooting just 39 percent (13 of 33) in the first half. Vanderbilt kept the game close until the second half, trailing 19-17 after one quarter and 38-31 at halftime.

The Commodores (6-20, 1-13 SEC) cut Mississippi State's lead to 38-36 within the first minute of the second half before Mississippi State scored the next six points and slowly took control.

Vanderbilt shot 29 of 51 (57 percent) and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers, but the Commodores were hurt by 23 turnovers.

Mariella Fasoula led the Commodores with 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting, an impressive performance considering the 6-foot-7 McCowan was roaming the paint for Mississippi State.

"It was going to be very difficult for her to go 1-on-1 with McCowan, so we wanted to find her on the move," White said of Fasoula. "I thought we did a good job of hitting (Fasoula) on time and on target."

Cierra Walker added 17 points and made five 3-pointers. Chelsie Hall had 12 points.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30674

Reported Deaths: 1107
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds248039
DeSoto157216
Madison129634
Jones112049
Neshoba98571
Rankin91612
Lauderdale90879
Harrison88610
Forrest86042
Scott77015
Jackson61616
Copiah60216
Washington5789
Leake57519
Holmes55141
Lee54718
Wayne54213
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51118
Yazoo5056
Leflore48651
Lowndes48312
Grenada4795
Lamar4567
Lincoln45434
Pike43112
Monroe39930
Lafayette3894
Sunflower3737
Attala35923
Covington3475
Panola3456
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Adams31018
Simpson3103
Pontotoc2836
Tate27810
Chickasaw27618
Marion27511
Claiborne27010
Jasper2616
Noxubee2618
Winston2596
Pearl River25432
Clay24910
Marshall2263
Smith22011
Union2079
Clarke20624
Walthall2004
Coahoma1996
Kemper17814
Lawrence1741
Yalobusha1717
Carroll16411
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1312
Tippah13011
Calhoun1294
Hancock12613
Webster12510
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite892
George863
Tishomingo781
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn682
Perry664
Stone641
Franklin452
Sharkey350
Benton340
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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