Mississippi State is a second half team, plain and simple. Though tested by the Commodores, the Bulldogs turned it on in the second half. Teaira McCowan led the team with 23 points and eight rebounds. In addition, Anriel Howard posted a double-double with 20 and ten. Andra Espinoza-Hunter had yet another 20 point outing.
Though McCowan’s double double streak came to an end, her ability to take over games did not. She was a force in the paint and continues to improve defensively. While the senior center continues to dominate, she must work on her free throws. That said, she is Mississippi State’s focal point on both ends of the floor and showed why yesterday afternoon.
Howard is on a hot streak scoring wise. In her last six games she has scored over 15 points, 20 or over in four of those. Already formidable on the boards, Howard continues to improve. Having posted a double double against Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs can be even more dangerous with its duo between her and McCowan crashing the boards.
Following the season ending knee injury to Chloe Bibby, Andra Espinoza-Hunter stepped in and has showed up as a starter. Her 20 points in yesterday’s win made a statement to head coach Vic Schaefer and teammates. In 29 minutes, Espinoza-Hunter went 7 of 11 from the field, 3-6 from three, and a perfect 3-3 from the line.
Though Mississippi State remains an SEC powerhouse, they must get off to better starts and dominate the first half, ultimately not nursing leads. Competition will only become more difficult down the road and the Bulldogs cannot afford to take time off. Having said that, Mississippi State’s combination of raw talent, depth, and experience is lethal.
The Bulldogs welcome LSU to Stark Vegas Thursday at 7:00 PM.