McCowan leads No. 6 Mississippi St. over Vanderbilt, 86-70

McCowan leads No. 6 Mississippi St. over Vanderbilt, 86-70
Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan celebrates an "and 1" in the Bulldogs victory over Marquette

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Teaira McCowan scored 23 points, Anriel Howard and Andra Espinoza-Hunter both added 20, and No. 6 Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt 86-70 on Sunday.

It was the first time since 1999 that Mississippi State had three players score at least 20 points. Howard also had 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs (25-2, 13-1 Southeastern Conference) got off to a sluggish start against the league's last-place team, shooting just 39 percent (13 of 33) in the first half. Vanderbilt kept the game close until the second half, trailing 19-17 after one quarter and 38-31 at halftime.

The Commodores (6-20, 1-13 SEC) cut Mississippi State's lead to 38-36 within the first minute of the second half before Mississippi State scored the next six points and slowly took control.

Vanderbilt shot 29 of 51 (57 percent) and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers, but the Commodores were hurt by 23 turnovers.

Mariella Fasoula led the Commodores with 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting. Cierra Walker added 17 points and made five 3-pointers. Chelsie Hall had 12 points.

BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: The Commodores can take solace in the fact that they pushed the Bulldogs for much of the afternoon. It was the fifth time in conference play that Mississippi State has given up at least 70 points.

Mississippi State: It was another up-and-down game for the Bulldogs against lesser competition, which is something that has concerned coach Vic Schaefer over the course of the season. The Bulldogs close the regular season with games against LSU and South Carolina next week.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt: Travels to Tennessee on Thursday.

Mississippi State: Hosts LSU on Thursday.

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