Vanderbilt hands No. 14 Mississippi State 1st loss of year
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Morgan Batey matched her career-high with 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Vanderbilt handed No. 14 Mississippi State its first loss of the season 78-62 on Sunday.
Mississippi State (18-1, 3-1) had held 13 of its last 14 opponents to under 60 points. Vanderbilt’s Paris Kea scored the Commodores’ 60th point with 5:28 left for a 60-51 lead.
Heather Bowe and Rebekah Dahlman had 17 points apiece for Vanderbilt (9-7, 1-3 SEC). The Commodores made 22 of 35 shots (62.9 percent) and 33 of 42 free throws (78.6 percent).
Mississippi State, which leads the SEC in scoring at 81 points per game, was held to 21-of-64 shooting (32.8 percent) from the floor.
Breanna Richardson led Mississippi State with 16 points. Victoria Vivians had 12 and Martha Alwal 10. The Bulldogs forced Vanderbilt into 24 turnovers, but went to the line 14 fewer times.
Richardson’s basket with 4:03 left pulled Mississippi State within six points, the closest the Bulldogs got in the second half.
Bowe responded with a layup, starting a 10-2 run for a 74-60 lead with 1:11 left. Bowe had seven points during the spurt.
Vanderbilt, losers of three in a row and five of its last six games, scored the first six points of the game and never trailed.
Mississippi State didn’t hit its first field goal of the game until the 11:32 mark and were behind 16-5. But the Bulldogs answered with an 11-3 run, led by Vivians’ eight straight points, to get within 19-16.
Bowe scored at the buzzer to give Vanderbilt a 34-24 lead at halftime after shooting 68 percent from the field and holding Mississippi State to 8-of-27 shooting (29.6 percent).
Mississippi State lost its regular season finale against Florida on Mar. 6 and fell to South Florida in a NIT quarterfinal on Mar. 30.