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Bulldogs Down Tulane In NCAA Tourney Opener

MSU women's hoops took down the Tulane Green Wave in the first round of the NCAA tournament and will move on to play Duke in the second round.

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Bulldogs are still dancing.

12th seeded Tulane kept the game close well into the second half but 5th seed Mississippi State proved to be too much for the Green Wave and pulled away late for a 57-47 victory. Sophomore Breanna Richardson, who has averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, came up huge for MSU and scored a team high 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Tulane freshman Kolby Morgan lead both teams in scoring with 17 points but it wasn't enough to vanquish the Bulldogs.

This was the first NCAA tournament win for MSU head coach Vic Schaefer.

"We knew we were going to be in a dogfight with the 12-5." Schaefer said after the game. "Don't think it wasn't on my mind ever since last night with everything that happened on the men's side. Glad to see our kids respond. We didn't play very good. Give Tulane credit, they had a lot to do with it, but we didn't play very good, and it's good to know you can win an NCAA Tournament game knowing you didn't go out there and play your best."

Tulane held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the second half and led 29-27 with 15:46 remaining but MSU turned on the defensive pressure from that point and never looked back. Over the course of the following 10 minutes, MSU dropped in 18 points and held the Green Wave to just 2.

MSU's Morgan William added 14 points and center Martha Alwal recorded 6 blocks in the game. Mississippi State will play the 4th seed Duke on Sunday at 11 AM CST in Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC  for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Check out full highlights of the game here: Link