Victoria Vivians had 24 points and nine rebounds Sunday as No. 3 Mississippi State defeated No. 6 Tennessee 71-52 to remain unbeaten and match its best start in school history.
Mississippi State (20-0, 6-0 SEC) also got off to a 20-0 start last season and went on to finish 34-5 with a loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament final.
Teaira McCowan added 12 points and 18 rebounds as Mississippi State held Tennessee to its lowest point total of the season. Tennessee missed its last 10 shots and had no baskets in the game’s final 7 minutes, 54 seconds.
Mississippi State outscored Tennessee 21-0 from 3-point range, where the Bulldogs shot 7 of 18 while Tennessee was 0 for 8.
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Tennessee (16-3, 4-2) has lost three of its last four, with all four of those games coming against Top 25 foes.
Tennessee concentrated early on getting the ball to 6-foot-6 center Mercedes Russell, who showed her range by making a couple of outside shots early and was 6 of 6 from the field in the first half for 12 points. Russell ended up scoring 16 points and shooting 7 of 9, but she didn’t get much help. Her teammates shot a combined 12 of 44 from the floor and scored 36 points.
Jaime Nared had 12 points for Tennessee but shot just 3 of 14. Roshunda Johnson scored 16 and Blair Schaefer added 12 for Mississippi State.
Florida women 61, Ole Miss 60: Haley Lorenzen scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, including a game-saving block in the closing seconds to lead the Lady Gators (10-10, 2-5 SEC). Delicia Washington added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Florida. Ole Miss (11-8, 1-5) was led by Alissa Alston’s 17 points. Promise Taylor and Madinah Muhammad each added 12 points. Shelby Gibson had 10. It was the second time in two weeks they squared off. Ole Miss won 78-75 in double overtime in Oxford.