STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Three players scored 20 or more points to lead No. 6 Mississippi State past Vanderbilt by a score of 86-70 on Sunday afternoon. It was the first time since Nov. 20, 1999, that three Bulldogs accomplished the feat in a single-game.
Teaira McCowan led MSU (25-2, 13-1 SEC) with 23 points. Anriel Howard and Andra Espinoza-Hunter each totaled 20. Howard added 10 rebounds for her 41st career double-double.
“First of all, glad to get the victory today,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “These games are not getting any easier. I really want to commend Stephanie [White] and her staff. Coach White and those kids really played well today. We kind of started out a little slow and flat-footed. We picked it up a little bit toward the end of the [first] half. I certainly love what we are doing offensively in the second half with 48 points. I’m certainly concerned defensively, giving up 70 points. Twenty-three turnovers caused is a good thing.”
MSU was outscored in the paint 24-18 in the first half, but held a 38-31 lead at the break. Vanderbilt (6-21, 1-13 SEC) shot 56.0 percent (14-of-25) from the field in the first 20 minutes while holding the Bulldogs to 39.4 percent (13-of-33).
The Commodores opened the second half with the first five points to pull within a pair of points, but would never get closer. State used a 6-0 run to regain a 44-36 lead with 7:08 on the clock. The Bulldogs then kicked off a 12-4 run over the next nearly three minutes that saw them force four turnovers to take a commanding 56-40 lead with 4:16 to play.
Vanderbilt closed the third quarter and opened the fourth with an 8-0 run to cut State’s lead to eight points, but the Bulldogs responded with an 11-0 run to take control of the contest. MSU’s run made their lead 74-55 with 5:56 to play. The Commodores would never get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
State only turned the ball over five times, a season low. The Dawgs forced 23 turnovers for the game and recorded 10 steals. Jazzmun Holmes had six assists and five steals without a turnover.
Vanderbilt was led by Mariella Fasoula who totaled 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting. Kalei Clemons-Green and Jordan Cambridge collected five rebounds each, and the Commodores won the battle of the boards 31-30. It was just the fourth time this season that MSU has been outrebounded.
State will play its final regular-season home game on Thursday, Feb. 28. The Bulldogs will host LSU at 7 p.m. CT with the contest airing on SEC Network+. Senior Night ceremonies will follow the contest.