No. 8 Mississippi St cruises past Louisiana-Lafayette 104-36
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State breezed through its final warmup before Southeastern Conference play begins, using a huge run in the first quarter to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 104-36 on Sunday.
Bre’Amber Scott scored a career-high 21 points, Anriel Howard added 16 and the eighth-ranked Bulldogs left no doubt about the outcome after opening the game on a 22-0 run over the first six minutes. Mississippi State played an efficient first quarter despite a 10-day layoff over the Christmas break.
“Glad to knock the rust off,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. “Recess is over, now it’s time to get ready for class and the next two months are two very difficult months if you’re a Southeastern Conference basketball player and so we have to get ready for the road.”
Mississippi State scored at least 100 points for the sixth time this season, breaking the school record which was set last season.
Teaira McCowan added 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for her 10th double-double of the season. Jordan Danberry scored 12 points and Xaria Wiggins had 10.
The Bulldogs shot 51 percent from the field, including 58 percent in the second half. Scott was 7 of 9 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
“Today was a good day,” Scott said. “I felt really comfortable. I did not try to do anything outside of what I knew I could do. I took the open shots that my teammates gave me.”
Louisiana-Lafayette was led by Skyler Goodwin, who scored nine points. The Ragin’ Cajuns shot just 23 percent from the field and made only one 3-pointer.
Mississippi State (12-1) built its lead to 50-16 by halftime. The Bulldogs were led in the first half by Danberry and Howard, who both scored 12 points.
Louisiana-Lafayette (2-9) shot 6 of 33 (18 percent) from the field and had 15 turnovers before halftime to fall into the huge early hole.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have rolled through most of nonconference play, with the notable exception of a loss to Oregon earlier this month. Mississippi State has established itself as a Final Four contender for a third straight season, but is still looking for a little more consistent play, especially on the perimeter.
Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns have had a tough time in nonconference play because of a tough schedule, including four losses to SEC teams. They hope to turn things around in 2019 against Sun Belt competition.
Mississippi State opens SEC play at Arkansas on Thursday.
Louisiana-Lafayette travels to face Arkansas State on Thursday.