A win for the ages, Mississippi State put the basketball world on notice. It was a record setting day and one that shall be remembered. Head coach Vic Schaefer, who has elevated the Mississippi State into a national powerhouse, may just have his best squad in this edition of Bulldogs. The No. 5 ranked team in the nation set an SEC Championship record with 101 points.
Wooden Award finalist Teaira McCowan had yet another double-double, her fifth straight, with 24 points and 14 rebounds. She added three blocks and three assists. McCowan was also able to stay out of foul trouble with only two. She had her way in the paint and was able to create second chance opportunities.
McCowan was a defensive force all game, as 11 of her 14 rebounds were on that end of the floor. As the senior has embraced her role as a leader, her confidence is at its highest. McCowan’s approach to the game has been successful all year long, as her double-double streak should continue.
Bouncing back from her four point performance in last night’s semifinal against Missouri, Andra Espinoza-Hunter did so emphatically, unconscious from distance and setting records. With eight 3-pointers, Espinoza-Hunter set an SEC Tournament record. In what was by far and away her best performance, Espinoza-Hunter tied her season high in points with 24. In addition, Espinoza-Hunter’s eight threes are a new career high.
Espinoza-Hunter became a starter following the midseason injury to Chloe Bibby. While she has become a threat from beyond the arc, Espinoza-Hunter can be streaky at times. That said, a performance like lets everyone know how lethal she can be.
Off the bench, Bre’Amber Scott also had a game with 20 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Like Espinoza-Hunter, Scott is also a three point threat. Per her momentum shifting 3-point field goal to close, the Bulldogs put their foot down come the third quarter, as Espinoza-Hunter started the second half off with a long three.
Jordan Danberry filled the stat line with 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Jazzmun Holmes added to her assist total with 12 on the day. Anriel Howard, though with three fouls, added 11 points.
In short, Mississippi State proved that they are as good as anyone, and national championship contender. With these types of performances on both ends of the floor, expect the Bulldogs to continue their run. Look for Mississippi State to earn some respect and continue to take the nation by storm.