Strong second half leads Mississippi State women past Little Rock

The Bulldogs host #9 Oregon on Wednesday.

Posted: Dec. 10, 2017 10:59 PM
Updated: Dec. 10, 2017 11:24 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - A dominating defensive performance in the third quarter set the tone as the third-ranked Mississippi State women’s basketball team rolled over Little Rock 86-48 Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Bulldogs held a 43-28 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Trojans were held to two points. It was the second time in the quarters era that MSU held an opposing team to two points in a quarter on the defensive end.

“Really proud of our second half,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “In the second half, we were special. In the first half, even though we were ahead by 15, nobody was really happy about how we played. At halftime, we talked about intensity, heart and effort.”

On her Senior Day, Morgan William capped her graduation weekend by leading the way with 16 points for the Bulldogs. She was followed in double figures by Teaira McCowan (13 points), Victoria Vivians (12 points) and Blair Schaefer (10 points).

Vivians collected her first double-double of the season after collecting a season-high 10 rebounds. McCowan also had a double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds. William had four assists, while Roshunda Johnson had five steals. In her MSU debut, Jordan Danberry played 13 minutes with two points and a rebound.

The Bulldogs scored the game’s first seven points and never trailed in the contest. A jumper by Zion Campbell ran the advantage to 15-4 with 4:06 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs led 17-10 after one quarter.

In the second quarter, the Bulldogs opened with nine straight points to take a 26-10 advantage. The Trojans went better than four minutes without scoring in the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Chloe Bibby pushed the lead to 31-15 with 4:39 left in the half. The Bulldogs shot 47.1 percent in each of the first two quarters and led by 15 at halftime.

“I really liked our response coming out of the locker room (at halftime),” Schaefer said. “We responded. We played really well in the third quarter. Little Rock is really good. I am excited about our response today.”

In the third quarter, the defense went to another level. The Trojans were held to 1 of 14 shooting from the field in that quarter. On the offensive end, the Bulldogs shot 55.0 percent from the field, scored 25 points and blew the contest open.

For the contest, MSU hit 33 off 66 shots from the field (50.0 percent), 3 of 10 shots from 3-point range (30.0 percent) and 17 of 22 shots from the foul line (77.3 percent). Little Rock hit 18 of 53 shots from the field (34.0 percent), 1 of 7 shots from 3-point range (14.3 percent) and 11 of 14 shots from the foul line (78.6 percent).

MSU held a 44-28 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 10 assists and 11 turnovers, while the Trojans had six assists and 20 turnovers.

Little Rock (3-6) received 11 points from Monique Towson and Kyra Collier, as well as 10 points from Teal Battle Collier also had a team-high five rebounds.

MSU will host No. 9 Oregon at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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