GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – When the No. 2 Mississippi State women’s basketball team found a second gear Thursday night, Florida had no answers.
Leading by a slim three-point margin early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs turned on the jets to take a 98-50 victory in Southeastern Conference play at the Exactech Arena.
The Bulldogs improved to 25-0 overall and 11-0 in league play, while completing a two-game season sweep of the Gators. MSU and Connecticut remain the only two undefeated teams in Division I women’s basketball. Florida fell to 10-14 and 2-9.
MSU placed five players in double figures. Roshunda Johnson led the scoring column with 22 points. Victoria Vivians added 17 points, while Morgan William added 15 points. Jordan Danberry scored a career-high 11 points.
Teaira McCowan collected her 17th double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“Really proud of our kids, especially in the second half,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “After having a bad second quarter, we came out and had a great third quarter. We outscored them 30-7 in the third quarter and 26-14 in the fourth quarter, so that’s 56 points in the second half. That is a great half of offensive execution.
“We had the nice run there to end the second quarter and then were able to extend on that there in the third quarter.”
Thanks to strong offensive starts from Johnson and McCowan, the Bulldogs came out of the gates rolling. MSU scored the game’s first nine points. William capped a 6-0 run for a 19-8 lead.
The Bulldogs eventually built a 25-13 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, the shots quit falling for a while and the Gators almost caught up.
A 7-0 run brought the Gators within 29-26 with 5:51 left in the half.
From there, the Gators were held to one 3-point field goal as the Bulldogs ended the half on 13-3 run for a 42-29 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs would then open the second half on a 21-2 run, totally dominating on both ends of the floor.
MSU carried a 72-36 lead into the final quarter.
An 11-0 MSU run midway through the period highlighted that final quarter.
For the contest, MSU hit 40 of 72 shots from the field (55.6 percent), 10 of 20 shots from 3-point range (50.0 percent) and 8 of 10 shots from the foul line (80.0 percent). Florida hit 20 of 50 shots from the field (40.0 percent), 7 of 21 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 3 of 3 shots from the foul line (100 percent).
MSU held a 38-25 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 14 assists and seven turnovers, while the Gators had 12 assists and 23 turnovers.
Florida received 17 points from Funda Nakkasoglu, 12 points from Haley Lorenzen and 12 points from Delicia Washington. Washington had a team-high seven rebounds for the Gators.
MSU will host Kentucky at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will air nationally on ESPNU from Humphrey Coliseum.
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