CANCUN, Mexico (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - No. 3 Mississippi State shook off fatigue with some great defense to beat Green Bay 67-46 in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Cancun Challenge.
The Bulldogs finished the three-day event at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya with a 3-0 record, while moving to 6-0 overall.
Victoria Vivians led four Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points. Roshunda Johnson added 14 points, while Blair Schaefer had 13 points and Morgan William had 10 points. Teaira McCowan barely missed her third double-double in the tournament with nine points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
William had five assists, while Johnson had three steals and McCowan had three blocks.
“Green Bay is really good,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I thought the kids were special today. I am proud of the kids. We had a 6:50 a.m. scout on the outside court. The kids were attentive and they took it to the court.”
The Bulldogs started strong on the defensive end. A 12-0 run allowed the squad to grab a 14-3 lead. Green Bay was held to one field goal for better than seven minutes to start the game.
A 3-pointer by Johnson capped the run. Vivians scored the final five points of the quarter as the Bulldogs led 17-6 after one quarter.
A 3-pointer and follow-up basket by Schaefer ran the lead to 20-6 with 9:08 left in the half. A layup by McCowan would later run the lead to 18 at 31-13 with 2:21 left in the half.
“We knew what were capable of doing,” Vivians said. “We came out focused. We watched film last week and were prepared. When we share the basketball and get everybody involved, we are unstoppable.”
Green Bay pulled back within 12 in the early stages of the third quarter. A 12-0 MSU run pushed the lead to 49-24 late in the third quarter.
For the contest, MSU hit 22 of 57 shots from the field (38.6 percent), 10 of 23 shots from 3-point range (43.5 percent) and 13 of 19 shots from the foul line (68.4 percent). Green Bay hit 19 of 56 shots from the field (33.9 percent), 5 of 15 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 3 of 4 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent).
Through six contests this season, State has made double-digit shots behind the arc in three of those games, one less than last year’s total of four.
Green Bay held a 40-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 11 assists and nine turnovers, while the Phoenix had nine assists and 17 turnovers.
Green Bay (5-1) received 14 points from Jessica Lindstrom and seven rebounds from Frankie Wurtz. It was the lowest point total for the Phoenix since a 43-point outing against Rutgers on Nov. 28, 2015.
MSU shot the highest percentage from the field allowed by Green Bay this season and also collected the most points allowed through six games. The Phoenix tallied their lowest point total since Nov. 28, 2015.
MSU will play Louisiana at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. On the eve of the game, the Central Chapter of the MSU Alumni Association will host a free event and team meet and greet at the Westin in Jackson beginning at 6 p.m.
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