Holmes scores 17 as Mississippi State women beat Texas 67-49

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Mississippi State’s toughest test of the early season had a familiar result: another rout.

Jazzmun Holmes scored 17 points, Chloe Bibby had 14 and Teaira McCowan rebounded her way to a school record, helping the No. 6 Bulldogs roll over No. 10 Texas 67-49 on Sunday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Bulldogs entered the marquee matchup of powerhouse programs braced for a slugfest after a series of early season blowouts. Mississippi State has made it to the NCAA Tournament final the last two seasons and Texas has advanced to the Sweet 16 or further each of the last four years.

The Bulldogs barely gave Texas a chance to take the floor before they were running the Longhorns off their home court.

“I think my whole team had a presence today,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. “From tip to finish we were dominant. We played our game.”

The Bulldogs outscored Texas 48-28 in the paint and forced 22 turnovers. McCowan’s 12 rebounds gave her 1,109 for her career, breaking the school record of 1,108 set by LaToya Thomas. And while the score fell far below their average of 97 points, the Bulldogs were in complete control.

Mississippi State (8-0) ended the first quarter with a 10-0 run. The Bulldogs led by 17 at halftime and stretched it to 24 in the third quarter. Even when Texas made a run late in the period, Bibby beat the shot-clock buzzer with a layup and then made a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 20 to start the fourth quarter.

Sug Sutton scored 16 points for Texas (7-1). The Longhorns scored their fewest points since they had 48 in loss to Baylor in 2016.

“As really good, aggressive teams do, they came out of the gates and punched pretty hard,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “We talk a lot about what we would love our team identity to be. Clearly that’s what theirs was and is. I thought our team just didn’t handle it very well.”

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: McCowan got her 14th consecutive double-double and could have gobbled up even more rebounds if she wasn’t limited by foul trouble early on. Her 6-foot-7 frame dominated Texas inside on both ends of the court. The only thing McCowan didn’t do was block a shot. She came in with 25, which ranked No. 1 nationally.

Texas: The Longhorns need junior forward Joyner Holmes to return quickly. Her size and ball-handling skills are sorely needed against big opponents like McCowan. Holmes has been out with an ankle injury and the Longhorns hope to have her back in time for next Sunday’s game against No. 11 Tennessee.

“She warmed up today. I thought she might play. She’s going to give them a completely different look,” Schaefer said.

Aston wasn’t ready to say that Holmes would have made a difference Sunday.

“Joyner obviously has some experience,” Aston said. “We have to kind of look in the mirror about our toughness.”

MISSING PIECES

Joyner couldn’t help Texas because she didn’t play. But two guards who had been critical to Texas’ 7-0 start, senior transfer Danni Williams and freshman Audrey Warren, struggled badly. Both played more than 27 minutes but totaled just six points, six rebounds, three assists and four turnovers.

WIN STREAK

The Bulldogs have won 44 consecutive regular-season nonconference games.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State hosts No. 22 Marquette at home on Thursday.

Texas hosts No. 11 Tennessee on Sunday.