STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Teaira McCowan had 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 4 Mississippi State over Mississippi 76-45 on Thursday night.
McCowan shot 12 of 13 from the field and added four blocks in just 26 minutes on the floor. The Bulldogs (18-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) won their eighth straight game in the series.
Mississippi State jumped out to a 14-0 lead in less than five minutes, getting two 3-pointers from Blair Schaefer during the run. That pushed the near-capacity crowd at Humphrey Coliseum to full volume, and the Rebels looked as though they might get blown out early.
But Mississippi State stars Victoria Vivians and McCowan both picked up two fouls by early in the second quarter and that allowed Ole Miss to hang around. The Bulldogs led 34-22 at halftime.
Ole Miss (11-6, 1-3) cut its deficit to 36-29 early in the third quarter on Chyna Nixon’s layup, but got no closer. The Bulldogs pushed their advantage to 56-38 by the end of the third and coasted from there.
Vivians scored 15 points and Schaefer added 14. Ole Miss was led by Madinah Muhammad, who scored 14.
Ole Miss: The Rebels played fairly well for a big chunk of the night, but couldn’t recover from their terrible start. McCowan was able to get free for open looks near the rim and when that happens, Mississippi State is awfully difficult to stop.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs fought foul trouble, but still came out with a decisive win. The problem going forward is that when Vivians and McCowan aren’t on the court, Mississippi State is really struggling. That’s got to change if Mississippi State wants to make it back to the Final Four.
Ole Miss has a week off before hosting Missouri next Thursday.
Mississippi State hosts Alabama on Sunday.
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