STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - No. 5 Mississippi State celebrated the senior class of 2019 with a 76-56 win against LSU on Thursday night to clinch a share of the SEC regular season championship.
The seniors led the way with four scoring in double figures in front of 8,631 fans in Humphrey Coliseum. Teaira McCowan scored 25 points and collected 13 rebounds for her 62nd career double-double. Jordan Danberry scored 18, and Anriel Howard and Jazzmun Holmes each added 10.
“Tremendous crowd tonight, these seniors deserved that crowd,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I’m just happy for them, to be honest with y’all. We tried to impart on them that this is not your last game in the Hump. You’re going to play two more in here in the NCAA Tournament. This is our chance. This is what we work for all year. This is what we work for in our careers.”
“You have a chance to go win a Southeastern Conference championship,” Schaefer continued. “I’ll tell everyone in this room, I think it’s harder to do that than anything else you can possibly do in this country. You have to play 16 monsters in this league, and these kids have done it again. They’ve clinched at least a share. It’s so hard to do. I’m really proud of them because I know what they’ve put into it.”
MSU (26-2, 14-1 SEC) used a strong defensive outing for the second time in as many contests against the Lady Tigers (16-11, 7-8 SEC). The Bulldogs forced 28 turnovers and held LSU to just eight points in the second quarter. State used a 10-2 run to close the quarter while building a 36-26 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs outscored LSU, 23-13, in the third quarter to take a 59-39 lead. The teams were even through the fourth quarter at 17 points apiece to result in the final score.
McCowan was 10-of-12 from the field and collected three assists, two steals and two blocks. Of her 25 points, 20 came in the paint as the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 54-16 in the lane.
MSU collected 15 assists and a dozen steals and finished the game shooting 50.0 percent (30-of-60) from the field. The Dawgs held LSU to just 37.2 percent (16-of-43) shooting.
The Tigers were led by Lailin Cherry’s 17 points and Ayana Mitchell’s 15 rebounds.
State will close the regular season with a chance to claim the SEC crown outright at No. 14/15 South Carolina on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. CT with the game airing on ESPN2.