COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A’ja Wilson tied her season high with 26 points, Allisha Gray had 16 of her 17 points in the final two quarters and No. 5 South Carolina held off previously undefeated No. 4 Mississippi State 64-61 in a Southeastern Conference showdown Monday night.
The Gamecocks (17-1, 7-0 SEC) trailed 35-28 at halftime and were still down 48-46 with less than two minutes left in the third period. But behind Wilson and Gray, South Carolina pushed forward for its ninth straight win over the Bulldogs (20-1, 6-1) and grabbed control of the conference as it tries for a fourth straight SEC title.
Mississippi State had several chances to win. Victoria Vivians could’ve tied the game at 62 after getting fouled on a 3-pointer with 18.6 seconds left. But after hitting the first two free throws, Vivians’ final attempt rattled away and the ball went out of bounds off the Gamecocks.
Blair Schaefer’s 3-pointer from the right corner with 8 seconds left missed the mark. Again, the ball came up Mississippi State’s way on a tie up beneath the basket. But Vivians missed a short shot with 4 seconds left, Wilson collected the rebound and hit two foul shots for the final margin.
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