It will be a tough pill to swallow, as the Bulldogs’ undefeated run has come to an end. The Gamecocks have won the SEC tournament and made history accomplishing the feat four times in a row. They were the better team from the opening tip and couldn’t have played any better.
However, a loss of this magnitude could be a blessing in disguise for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were exposed and can learn from this in preparation for March Madness. South Carolina punched them in the mouth and it was as simple as that.
Though she came off the bench, A’ja Wilson took the game into her own hands and dominated. Her 16 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks were just another day at the office, as Wilson was a complete player on both ends of the floor.
But it wasn’t just Wilson who lifted the Gamecocks. Tyasha Harris was on fire, as her stat line was filled to capacity. She posted 14 points six rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan added 13 points, five rebounds, an assist, and a block.
Mississippi State, on the other hand, combined for seven turnovers and paid the price. That said, it was just an off day and shots weren’t falling. Blair Schaefer was 0-5 from beyond the arc, an anomaly that is sure to change come the real tournament.
In addition, Teaira McCowan had just six points and six rebounds, definitely uncommon for a star of her caliber. She was in foul trouble early and that simply cannot happen going forward. However, Victoria Vivians was herself, as she posted 17 points, six rebounds, an assist, two steals, and a block.
Roshunda Johnson and Morgan William stepped up, but it was simply not enough. The two combined for 18 points. Jazzmun Holmes was a spark off the bench with her eight points, two assists, and two steals.
Though a painful loss, the outcome of this game is bittersweet for the Bulldogs. As mentioned above, there is a lot of film to watch. Expect revenge in March Madness, as this Mississippi State team knows it must play better. The Bulldogs stand at 32-1, but that one loss could end up being a lesson learned that puts Mississippi State over the top.