Blair Schaefer scored a career-high 21 points, former West Harrison High standout Ameshya Williams added 15 and Mississippi State beat Troy 110-69 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mississippi State (30-4) used a 29-6 run in the second quarter to erase any doubt about the outcome. Schaefer was the Bulldogs’ unlikely star, making 6 of 9 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
The second-seeded Bulldogs used an unorthodox starting lineup, bringing star guard Victoria Vivians off the bench for the first time in her three-year career. Vivians scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Mississippi State shot 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Troy (22-11) was led by Claresa Banks, who scored 15 points. The 15th-seeded Trojans shot just 25 of 80 (31.3 percent) from the field.
The Trojans kept things fairly close in the first quarter, but Mississippi State’s big second quarter proved too much to overcome.
It was a solid opening game for the Bulldogs, who got a career performance from Schaefer. Mississippi State will get a much tougher test against DePaul on Sunday.