COLLEGE STATION, TX (WLBT) - Mississippi State’s women’s basketball team bounced back with a commanding 92-64 victory over No. 22/23 Texas A&M on the road on Sunday afternoon.
MSU (23-2, 11-1 SEC) received impressive performances from Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Anriel Howard, who was returning to her former school for the first time. Espinoza-Hunter led State with 24 points on the back of 7-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. Her seven three-pointers are tied for the second-most in a single-game in MSU history.
“I am obviously extremely proud of my team today,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I could not ask more of them. I think they responded today after, obviously, not playing well on Thursday and having a team make you not play well. We have talked about how it is about how you respond when things like that happen. I told them that everyone would be paying attention today to see how they responded. We needed to come in and play well. I thought our energy was tremendous, defensive intensity was great.”
Howard scored 19 of her own and added 13 rebounds for the 39th double-double of her career. Teaira McCowan also recorded a double-double, her 60th, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Danberry rounded out the double-figure scoring for MSU with 16 points.
After trailing 24-20 at the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs used a 19-5 run over five and a half minutes in the second quarter to turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead, up 39-31 with 3:14 left in the period. State would never trail again.
The Bulldogs entered the locker room with a 43-36 lead at halftime, and returned to kick off a 20-8 run to open the third quarter. That pushed MSU’s lead to 66-48 with 2:21 left in the third quarter. The 18-point lead would hold through the end of the period.
In the fourth, MSU again stretched the lead with a 17-5 run spanning 5:45. That brought the Bulldogs to a 91-58 edge capped by two free throws for McCowan. The 33-point gap was the largest of the night. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch, with the Aggies outscoring MSU, 6-1, in the final four minutes to result in the final score.
State held a 31-5 edge in second-chance points thanks to 21 offensive rebounds. Overall, MSU held a 47-32 edge on the boards. Jazzmun Holmes turned in six assists without a turnover, and Myah Taylor picked up a career-high five rebounds and her first block.
The Bulldogs remain on the road next week for a Thursday night game at Ole Miss. Tipoff on Feb. 21 is set for 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.