Mississippi State freshman Victoria Vivians only made one 3-point basket in the No. 17 Bulldogs' matchup with No. 13 Texas A&M, but the one she made turned out to be the shot that pushed the Bulldogs ahead for good in route to a 63-61 overtime victory Sunday in Starkville.
While she made the big shot late, Vivians did not factor much into the first half as she, along with Martha Alwal, found foul trouble in the first half. At one point, Texas A&M held a 26-18 lead with 5:11 to play in the first half. Breanna Richardson and Morgan William, who finished with 15 points, led the Bulldogs on an 8-0 run to tie the contest. However, at the half, the Aggies had a 32-28 advantage.
In the second half, the Aggies again built an eight point lead, but the Bulldogs again found a way to answer when William tied the game at 44. Two Richardson free throws put the Bulldogs on top of the Aggies at 46-44.
The teams played a nip and tuck contest after that point. With Mississippi State (23-3, 8-3) trailing 53-51, Kendra Grant hit a jumper to tie the game with 1:12 left to play.
In overtime, the Aggies (18-6, 6-4) jumped out to a four-point lead and with just under two minutes to play, the four point lead remained at 61-57. Richardson drove to the basket to hit a layup with 1:20 left in overtime to cut the A&M lead to 61-59. Vivians then hit her lone three to put the Bulldogs up 62-61. A split pair of free throws by Savannah Carter with 2.2 seconds play proved to be the last points of the game.
Alwal picked up her 33rd double-double of her career, which leads active SEC players, scoring 16 points and pulling down ten rebounds.
Mississippi State returns to action Thursday against No. 11 Kentucky in Lexington in a game scheduled for a 7 p.m. local tip on the SEC Network.