(Article Source: MSU Athletics Media Relations)
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Victoria Vivians posted her fifth career double-double and No. 6/7 Mississippi State rode a stellar defensive performance to a 60-45 win over Auburn in Southeastern Conference women’s basketball action Thursday at Humphrey Coliseum.
MSU improved to 15-1 overall and 2-0 in league play for a second straight season. The Bulldogs have taken three straight series meetings from the Tigers for a fourth time. Auburn fell to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Fresh off a win over then-No. 7 Kentucky, Auburn was held to a season-low in total points. The Tigers were held to five 3-point shot attempts and five free throw attempts.
“(Auburn’s) zone press is relentless,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “At the same time, I have a group of relentless kids. I couldn’t be more proud of the defensive effort. The second quarter was just incredible. We made our run. They made their run.”
Vivians had 23 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Freshman Teaira McCowan had 10 points and matched a season-high with 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year.
“I really felt like I had a bad game (in a 76-70 win over Florida Sunday),” Vivians said. “It was my job to come out and make up for that. I really wanted to do some things to help my team win.”
Vivians hit a 3-point basket in the waning seconds of the first quarter to give MSU a 15-12 lead. From there, it was all about the defense. Auburn was held without a field goal over the first 8:39 of the second quarter as the hosts enjoyed a 16-1 run.
In the second quarter, Auburn was held to 2 of 9 shots from the field goal for five total points, with nine turnovers. MSU ended the half on a 21-5 run for a 33-17 halftime lead.
In the second half, Auburn took advantage of some offensive struggles for MSU to piece together a 16-5 run. After the Tigers clawed within 38-33, the Bulldogs got some breathing room on back-to-back baskets by Vivians and McCowan.
In the fourth quarter, MSU got a critical 3-point basket from Vivians as the shot clock expired for a 50-38 lead with 6:31 left.
“It is always great when you have a player like (Vivians) who can step up and make shots when you need them the most,” Schaefer said. “It’s a good addition to some great defense.”
For the contest, MSU hit 20 of 60 shots from the field (33.3 percent), 5 of 25 shots from 3-point range (20.0 percent) and 15 of 19 shots from the foul line (78.9 percent). Auburn hit 20 of 50 shots from the field (40.0 percent), 2 of 5 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 3 of 5 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent).
MSU held a 40-32 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 11 assists and 15 turnovers, while the Tigers had 13 assists and 25 turnovers.
Morgan William had seven assists for the Bulldogs, while Vivians had three of her team’s seven steals.
Auburn received 15 points from Tra’Cee Tanner.
MSU remains home for a Sunday afternoon contest with Arkansas. The Bulldogs and Razorbacks tip at 2 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum with the game available online on the SEC Network +.