It was in primetime for a reason, as Mississippi State won a hard-fought under the Kansas City lights. UCLA gave the Bulldogs all they could handle, but it was simply not enough. Mississippi State gave it all they had, as each and every bit was left on the floor.
All five starters scored at least nine points. Each made an impact when needed and/or called upon, as coach Vic Schaefer could not have been more proud. They came in with an attitude and it put the Bruins on their heels. That said, UCLA did put up a fight.
Teaira McCowan was a force to be reckoned with. The Bruins had no answer. McCowan ruled the point, as she posted a double-double with 23 points, a career-high 21 rebounds, an assist and four blocks. She has proven to be one of, if not the game’s best inside.
McCowan’s dominance has set the tone for Mississippi State game after game. She was only tagged for two personal fouls. It was a game to remember for McCowan, as future opponents will need to come up with some kind of plan to stop her.
Victoria Vivians was a woman possessed all game long. With a look of vengeance in her eye, she was unstoppable with the ball in her hands. She put up 24 points, four rebounds, and a block. Vivians is by far and away the game’s best scorer, and it was on full display on the Elite Eight stage.
Morgan William was a point guard and then some. “Itty Bitty” was on fire, as she filled the stat line with ease. With 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals, William was put on a clinic on both ends of the floor.
Blair Schaefer was in a slump from three, but she was quick to return to form. Schaefer was a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc, as her confidence was at its peak. Having drawn her 28th charge, Schaefer was a defensive terror.
The Bulldogs’ Swiss Army knife was in full force, as Roshunda “Ro” Johnson was quick to get into the action. Her stat line read 12 points, two rebounds, five assists, and a steal. Johnson played with a purpose, as she was not afraid of anything or anybody. She was a flat out headache for UCLA coach Cori Close and the Bruins.
Mississippi State’s second unit also lived up to expectations, as the Bulldogs got an extra lift from Chloe Bibby, Jazzmun Holmes, and Jordan Danberry. Each was on point defensively and unafraid to go right UCLA on both ends of the floor.
The Bulldogs are on a mission and not done yet. Everyone played their heart out and it showed. Mississippi State was tenacious and hungry, thus outplaying the Bruins. It’s a historic night, as the Bulldogs are headed to Columbus.