Miss. St. falls just short of record vs. Miss. Valley St.

Mississippi State guard Roshunda Johnson (11) shoots past Mississippi Valley State guards Sydney Floyd (13) and Kristy Parker (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (AP Photo by Rogelio V. Solis)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Tearia McCowan’s career-best scoring night could have been even better.

Facing the helpless defenders of winless Mississippi Valley State, the 6-foot-7 McCowan towered over the Devilettes to score 41 points, and No. 5 Mississippi State scored the second-most points in school history in a 112-36 victory.

”Teaira could have had 100,” coach Vic Schaefer said. ”She is making some really tough shots. She’s getting better. She’s developing a real soft jumper, a real touch off the glass and smoothing things out.”

McCowan put together the 12th 40-point game in Mississippi State history and the first since Morgan William scored 41 in last season’s NCAA Tournament. She added 13 rebounds for her sixth straight double-double and ninth this season.

”(All of the accolades) are nice but I’m going to continue to just play my game and work hard at practice,” McCowan said. ”When I play my game, all of the other stuff will come.”

The 112 points were just five shy of the school record set in 1986 against Judson.

The Bulldogs (14-0) put the game away in the second quarter with a 24-0 run, holding the Devilettes scoreless for nearly 8 minutes. Mississippi State outscored Valley 30-4 in the quarter for a 59-20 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs added an 18-0 run early in the third and led 88-26 after three quarters.

”I spent the entire first quarter trying to get people to play hard. The second and third quarter were more indicative of what I want,” Schaefer said. ”We held them to four and six points in the second and third quarter.”

Victoria Vivians added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Bulldogs. Roshunda Johnson scored 14 points.

Kristy Parker had 10 points in 29 minutes to lead the Devilettes (0-11).

Mississippi State finished undefeated in non-conference play for the second straight season and has now won 35 straight regular season games outside the Southeastern Conference.

”Non-conference is over,” Schaefer said. ”Now it’s time to play for keeps.”

UP NEXT

Mississippi State travels to Georgia on Sunday.

Mississippi Valley State hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday.