Bulldogs crush Vandy from beginning to end, 86-41
Published 8:31 am Friday, February 10, 2017
STARKVILLE (AP) — Mississippi State came into Thursday night tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference and undefeated at home. Vanderbilt was dead last in the league, had lost 11 of its last 12 and hadn’t won a road game in more than two months.
The events that followed were predictable.
The fourth-ranked Bulldogs beat the Commodores 86-41 for their fourth straight victory, jumping out to leads of 20-2 and 40-8 by midway through the second quarter.
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“When the lights came on tonight, we were really special,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said.
Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with 21 points, Roshunda Johnson scored 17 and Breanna Richardson added 12. Mississippi State shot 35-of-70 (50 percent) from the field, including 9-of-20 (45 percent) from 3-point range.
Vivians was pleased that the Bulldogs never let up on the Commodores.
“We finished the whole game,” Vivians said. “We played all four quarters. We pounded them all four quarters. That was our main focus — finish the game.”
The game went so well for Mississippi State that Schaefer kept his jacket on all night. One of Schaefer’s trademarks is discarding his jacket at some point during a game, usually after getting upset with one of his players.
A reporter asked if that’s the first time that has ever happened.
Schaefer thought about it for a moment and then grinned before saying “probably.”
The Bulldogs (24-1, 10-1) dominated from the opening tip, suffocating Vanderbilt defensively and then pushing for quick baskets in transition. They led 42-15 at halftime.
Vivians made eight of her first 10 shots and scored all 21 of her points in the first half to push the Bulldogs ahead early. Johnson made 5 of 8 shots from 3-point range, needing just 13 minutes on the court to score her 17 points.
Vanderbilt (11-13, 1-10) never led and shot just 12-of-51 (23.5 percent) from the field.
“Defensively, we were outstanding,” Schaefer said.
Rachel Bell and Erin Whalen led Vanderbilt with nine points. It was easily the worst offensive output of the season for the Commodores — their previous low was 56 points in a loss to Arkansas.
Vanderbilt coach Stephanie White said Mississippi State “did exactly what a top program should do.”
“We obviously didn’t respond,” White said. “We were a little wide-eyed to start the game. You can’t play a great team and have fear in your mind.”
LSU 62, Ole Miss 51
Raigyne Moncrief scored 19 points, while Ayana Mitchell and Alexis Hyder both had double-doubles as LSU (17-7, 6-5 SEC) beat Ole Miss (15-9, 4-7).
Mitchell and Hyder both finished with 10 points and 10 assists. Chloe Jackson added 11 points and six rebounds for LSU, which went 28-for-40 from the free throw line and scored 23 points off of 23 turnovers by Ole Miss.
LSU committed 24 turnovers of its own, but the Rebels were only able to turn them into 16 points. Shandricka Sessom led Ole Miss with 14 points and six rebounds, and Madinah Muhammad had 10 points.
The Rebels missed their first eight shots of the second half and were just 4-for-27 (14.8 percent) shooting in the second and third quarter combined. The mid-game swoon allowed LSU to take a 41-21 lead late in the third quarter.
LSU won for the third time in four games, while Ole Miss had a two-game winning streak snapped and lost at home for just the second time this season.
Southern Miss 74, UTSA 71
Brittanny Dinkins scored 16 points to lead four Southern Miss players in double figures, and Keri Jewett-Giles hit the game-winning shot with five seconds left to lift Southern Miss over Texas-San Antonio.
Southern Miss (15-9, 7-5 Conference USA) led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, but UTSA (11-11, 7-4) stormed back to take a 71-70 lead on two free throws by Loryn Goodwin with 21 seconds left in the game.
Jewett-Giles then hit the go-ahead shot for USM, Jayla King got a steal on the ensuing inbounds play and Dinkins hit a layup at the buzzer to seal it.
Jewett-Giles finished with eight points.