Tuesday, December 19, 2017
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer thought the No. 5 Bulldogs could have played much better coming off a win over No. 9 Oregon. Still, his team had no problem with Maine on Sunday.
Teaira McCowan had 18 points and 11 rebounds in her seventh double-double of the season, and Mississippi State beat Maine 83-43.
"I want to take my hat off to Maine. I thought they played extremely hard," Schaefer said. "I thought they competed and did all they could do. I thought we were really bland. It's typical coming off of the win that we had (against Oregon)."
After posting 35 points and 19 rebounds against Oregon, McCowan played just 26 minutes. She was displeased by the six shots she missed.
"I got down on myself. I left some points out there," McCowan said. "I didn't do too well, but I got a double-double. When I'm not making point-blank layups, I get down on myself."
McCowan, a sophomore from Brenham, Texas, joined the Bulldogs in 2015. She was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2016 and was named SEC Freshman of the week in December that year. She was also named SEC Sixth Woman of the Year and made the SEC Academic Honor Roll and the Oklahoma City All-Region Team in 2017.
The Bulldogs (11-0) shot 50 percent or better for the second straight game as they knocked down 31 of 62 shots. They held Maine to 32.7 percent from the field (16 of 49).
After closing the first quarter with an 18-4 run to take a 29-12 lead, the Bulldogs kept their momentum in the second. Maine went scoreless over the final 6:11 in the first half and trailed the Bulldogs 45-18 at halftime.
"We got the lead, stretched the lead out more and killed their confidence," said Victoria Vivians, who scored 12 points. "We went out there and kept our foot on their throat."
Blanca Millan led the Black Bears (6-5) with 13 points. Maine had 27 turnovers, leading to 29 points from Mississippi State. The Bulldogs led in rebounds, 39-28.
The win was the 100th for the Bulldogs' senior class.
"So far they've written quite a bit in the history and record books. and they've got a lot more in front of them. The challenge is to keep putting the pressure on that junior class," Schaefer said. "These seniors are a special group."
Mississippi State plays UNLV on Wednesday in the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas.
Maine travels to No. 14 Duke on Tuesday.
The Jackson Free Press contributed to this story.