STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - A dominating fourth quarter helped the No. 6 Mississippi State women’s basketball team cruise to a 91-63 win over Tennessee Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
A sellout crowd of 10,021, State’s fourth of 10,000 or more this season, cheered the Maroon and White to a fifth win in the last six series meetings with the tradition-rich Lady Vols (15-8, 4-6 SEC). The 28-point victory was the Lady Vols largest defeat ever in conference play and was tied for their second-largest margin of defeat overall.
MSU (22-1, 10-1 SEC) extended its SEC winning streak to 26 games, tying Auburn for the sixth longest streak in the league’s history.
“I’m very proud of my team,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “They were special today. In between the third and fourth quarters, we talked about wanting to come out and punch in the first five minutes. We really did. We were great in the half-court offense. We were great defensively.”
The Bulldogs broke open a tight contest with 30 points in the fourth quarter. MSU has scored 80 or more points eight time in conference play.
Tearia McCowan (24 points, 15 rebounds) and Anriel Howard (16 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Bulldogs. Jordan Danberry added 20 points, for the fourth time in her career, while Andra Espinoza-Hunter scored 11.
“(Jordan Danberry) was as good as she has been in any game she has played here. She makes great decisions with the bal. I love how she attacked. Jazzmun Holmes did a great job of leading the team. In the fourth quarter, things get a little tiresome. We just kept fighting.”
A fast-paced first-quarter saw the Bulldogs grab an early 9-4 lead. A Jazzmun Holmes layup ran the lead to 20-15. Danberry later followed with a basket to end the first quarter scoring with the Bulldogs ahead 25-17.
A 3-point play by Holmes ran the lead to 28-17. The Lady Vols then battled back. The deficit was trimmed to 32-28 with 5:10 left in the half. Bre’Amber Scott capped a 6-0 run with a basket for a 38-28 lead.
MSU overcame 29.4 percent shooting in the second half to still hold a 40-34 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, a jumper by McCowan pushed the lead to nine at 47-38. The Lady Vols came back with six straight to pull within three. The Bulldogs followed with the final six points of the quarter for a 61-49 lead.
The Bulldogs used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to open a 76-51 lead. Scott hit a 3-pointer and later worked her way back to the line for a pair of free throws. McCowan followed with a basket for an 86-57 lead.
MSU held a 38-30 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 17 assists with just eight turnovers, their lowest mark in that category in SEC play this year.
Tennessee received 29 points from Rennia Davis and 13 points from Zaay Green. Cheridene Green had a team-high seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Thursday, Feb. 14 for a late-night tip against Missouri. The Tigers visit Humphrey Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.