Morgan William (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

Mississippi State's women's basketball team earn rematch with South Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The rematch is set. The No. 2 seed Mississippi State women's basketball team earned another shot at top-seed South Carolina and the two will play for the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship Sunday afternoon.

The rematch was finalized when the Bulldogs knocked off No. 7 seed Texas A&M 66-50 in semifinal action Saturday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
                 
Both MSU and South Carolina were in the Top Five nationally when South Carolina recorded a dramatic 64-61 decision in the regular season in Columbia, South Carolina. Sunday's game will tip at 2 p.m. CT and be shown nationally on ESPN2.
                 
MSU plays in the SEC Tournament championship game for the second-straight year and third time overall. The Bulldogs are looking for their first title.
                 
Saturday's win gave Vic Schaefer's team a school record for victories in a season. The Bulldogs are 29-3 overall, bettering last season's school-record mark of 28 victories. The Bulldogs beat the Aggies for a third time this season, only the third time in program history MSU has beaten the same team three times in a season.
                 
"We give God the glory for another record, with victory No. 29," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "We played extremely well tonight. We have had two knock-down drag-outs with Texas A&M. They struggled having to play three games in three days with some depth issues. I was proud of how hard our kids came out and played. We had a lot of intensity.
                 
"We executed on offense and we were interested on defense. I can tell in the first five minutes if we are locked in like that."
                 
Dominique Dillingham led the Bulldogs with 14 points. Morgan William added 12 points, while Victoria Vivians added 10 points. Breanna Richardson had a team-high eight rebounds, while Teaira McCowan had seven rebounds. William had a team-high five assists.
                 
The Bulldogs got everybody going on offense early. Back-to-back 3-point baskets by Richardson and Vivians gave the Bulldogs an 18-9 lead after one quarter. The Aggies were held to one field goal over the final 4:15 of that quarter.
                 
Dillingham began the second quarter with a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs were off and running with a 21-9 lead. The Aggies closed within seven before the Bulldogs scored on back-to-back possessions with a 3-pointer by Blair Schaefer running the lead to 28-16.
                 
The Bulldogs shot 43.8 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from 3-point range in the first half for a 34-20 lead at the break.
                 
William capped a 9-0 run with a basket for a 43-20 lead with 7:44 left third quarter. The Bulldogs continued to excel on the defensive end and the Aggies could not climb back into the contest.
                 
A 3-pointer by Roshunda Johnson pushed the Bulldogs to a 64-42 lead with 4:27 left.
                 
For the contest, MSU hit 25 of 58 shots from the field (43.1 percent), 6 of 16 shots from 3-point range (37.5 percent) and 10 of 13 shots from the foul line (76.9 percent). Texas A&M hit 16 of 45 shots from the field (35.6 percent), 2 of 3 shots from 3-point range (66.7 percent) and 16 of 17 shots from the foul line (94.1 percent).
                 
MSU held a 35-28 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 15 assists and seven turnovers, while the Aggies had five assists and 12 turnovers.
                 
Texas A&M (21-11) received 13 points from Danni Williams, 12 points from Anriel Howard and 10 points from Curtyce Knox.


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