Mississippi State

No. 4 Mississippi State women top Alabama; No. 5 South Carolina downs Ole Miss

Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan shoots against Alabama.
Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan shoots against Alabama. Associated Press

Chinwe Okorie had 15 points and eight rebounds to help No. 4 Mississippi State remain unbeaten with a 67-54 victory over Alabama on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (20-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) turned a single-digit halftime lead into a lopsided margin with a 14-0 run in the third quarter. Mississippi State outscored Alabama (14-5, 2-4) 26-9 in the quarter while forcing 11 turnovers.

It was a school season-record ninth road win for Mississippi State, the first team in the nation to reach 20 wins.

Victoria Vivians scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half after coming off three straight games with at least 20 points.

Along with Okorie, Teaira McCowan dominated the Crimson Tide around the basket. McCowan made 5 of 7 shots for 10 points. Okorie scored Mississippi State’s first six points and was 7-of-8 shooting.

Hannah Cook led Alabama with 16 points.

No. 5 South Carolina 65, Ole Miss 46: Alaina Coates had 15 points and 15 rebounds for her 54th career double-double, and All-America forward A'ja Wilson returned from a sprained ankle as No. 5 South Carolina won to stay perfect in Southeastern Conference play.

The 6-foot-5 Wilson missed the previous two games after hurting her right ankle at Florida on Jan. 8. The Gamecocks’ leading scorer got a huge cheer when she was announced in the starting lineup and played fluidly in 15 minutes of action, with six points and four rebounds. Coates, Wilson’s 6-4 post partner, continued to dominate down low for South Carolina (16-1, 6-0 SEC).

The two fueled a 13-3 closing run in the second quarter as the Gamecocks took control, Coates scoring six points and Wilson four as South Carolina led 37-22 at halftime.