Seniors Lead MSU Past Ole Miss for Rematch Win

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OXFORD, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State’s sixth-ranked women’s basketball team won its 11th consecutive meeting with Ole Miss, 80-66, on Thursday night in Oxford, Mississippi.

Anriel Howard led MSU (24-2, 12-1 SEC) in scoring with 21 points, 17 of which came in the second-half, and added 10 rebounds for the 40th double-double of her career. Teaira McCowan (15 points, 12 rebounds) also recorded her 61st career double-double. Jordan Danberry collected her fifth 20-point game of the year, and Bre’Amber Scott rounded out the Bulldogs’ double-figure scorers with 11.

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“That is life on the road right there,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “For us it was a grind tonight. It didn’t seem like we could do much. In stretches we were really bad in the first half.  In the third quarter, we were much better. I thought the Rebels played awfully well. Give them credit. It wasn’t our best night defensively.”

MSU struggled to get shots to fall in the first half, shooting 38.5 percent (18-of-39) from the field. The Dawgs were 0-of-6 from behind the arc, but dominated the paint, collecting 26 of their 37 first-half points down low.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the contest, but could not gain any separation through the first quarter and never led by more than four points. MSU slowly built an eight-point lead through the second period while forcing five turnovers.

McCowan had collected her 61st career double-double by the midway point with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs won the battle of the boards 25-17 in the first half and outscored Ole Miss 11-0 in second-chance points.

State took control of the game in the second half. The Maroon and White scored eight of the first 10 points out of the break to build a 45-31 lead. MSU then closed the third quarter with an 11-1 run that opened up a 20-point lead, 63-43, entering the final 10 minutes of play.

The Rebels (9-18, 3-10 SEC) responded with the first seven points of the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 63-50, but Ole Miss would trail by 14 or more points the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs held a 44-23 edge in paint points and collected 16 points off 15 Rebel turnovers. For the game, MSU shot 45.3 percent (29-of-64).

Ole Miss was led by Crystal Allen’s 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Shandricka Sessom collected a team-high eight rebounds.

The Bulldogs return home to Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 24, to host Vanderbilt. Tipoff on SEC Network is slated for 1 p.m. CT.

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