McCowan, No. 6 Miss. St. roll past Furman 106-41
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Even in limited minutes, Teaira McCowan is still doing things no Mississippi State player has done before.
McCowan made all 11 of her shots in 20 minutes of action on Wednesday, finishing with 24 points and 10 rebounds for her 43rd career double-double as the sixth-ranked Bulldogs made quick work of Furman in a 106-41 win.
The preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year became the first Mississippi State player to make 100 percent of her shots while attempting 10 or more field goals.
It helped McCowan to have production all around her. The Bulldogs made 12 of 20 3-point shots and had four other players score in double figures.
“We’ve got people knocking down shots on the outside, which frees it up for me to go 1-on-1 to the hole,” McCowan said. “My 1-on-1 game is pretty good, so I’m confident in that.”
The Bulldogs (5-0) used a 30-0 run over 12 minutes of the first and second quarters to run away from the Paladins. Mississippi State led 60-18 at halftime.
The Bulldogs closed the third quarter on a 16-0 run and had 18 points in the period from McCowan for an 88-26 advantage.
“I thought Furman and those kids really competed,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. “I just thought our kids did a good job of taking them out of what they wanted to do.”
Le’Jzae Davidson scored 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting from 3-point range to lead Furman (2-3).
Chloe Bibby had a career-high 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from long range for the Bulldogs. Andra Espinoza-Hunter had 14 points, Anriel Howard scored 12 and Myah Taylor had 10.
Bibby came into the game shooting 52 percent from 3-point range and has already surpassed her 3-point total from last year.
“I didn’t really think about my shot,” Bibby said. “If I get open, I’m going to shoot and today we found the extra pass and I was wide open. I was just happy to knock down the shots when I needed to do it.”
Mississippi State shot 63 percent from the field. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Paladins 45-24, forced 26 turnovers and dished out 28 assists.
“We’re great in transition — this is one of our better ones, maybe our best,” Schaefer said. “If teams don’t turn it over 26 times, are we good enough to execute things in the half court and still score? I think we’re making shots right now and it’s a whole lot easier game when you’re making shots.”
CENTURY MARK AGAIN
Mississippi State hit the 100-point mark for the third straight game, the first time in school history it has accomplished that feat.
After losing four seniors that helped make up the highest-scoring team in school history, MSU is averaging 96 points per game early in the year and has just one fewer 100-point game than it had all of last year.
Furman: Davidson enjoyed a solid 33 minutes of action against a top-10 team, but Furman otherwise had few positive takeaways.
Mississippi State: It was another tune-up game for a Bulldogs, who will see their schedule strengthen in December when they face Texas, Oregon and Marquette over a span of four games.
“Trust me, all of the naysayers are out there. I feel them on the back of my neck saying, ‘OK, let’s see how they do in December.’ I think we’re playing well, but the naysayers are out there and that’s my challenge to them. Let’s work so we can answer that in December.” — Schaefer on the Bulldogs’ early success.
Furman travels to Charleston on Saturday.
Mississippi State hosts Jackson State on Saturday.