No. 4 Miss. State runs past Vanderbilt

Feb. 9, 2017

Box Score

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi State remained unbeaten on its home floor on Thursday night.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs beat Vanderbilt 86-41 for their fourth straight victory — jumping out to leads of 20-2 and 40-8 by midway through the second quarter — while improving to 10-0 at home.

“When the lights came on tonight, we were really special,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said.

Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with 21 points, Roshunda Johnson scored 17 and Breanna Richardson added 12. Mississippi State shot 35 of 70 (50 percent) from the field, including 9 of 20 (45 percent) from 3-point range.

Vivians was pleased that the Bulldogs never let up on the Commodores.

“We finished the whole game,” Vivians said. “We played all four quarters. … That was our main focus  finish the game.”

The Bulldogs (24-1, 10-1) dominated from the opening tip, suffocating Vanderbilt defensively and then pushing for quick baskets in transition. They led 42-15 at halftime.

The 6-foot-1 Vivians made eight of her first 10 shots and scored all 21 of her points in the first half to push the Bulldogs ahead early. Johnson made 5 of 8 shots from 3-point range, needing just 13 minutes on the court to score her 17 points.

Vanderbilt (11-13, 1-10) shot just 12 of 51 (23.5 percent) from the field.

“Defensively, we were outstanding,” Schaefer said.

Rachel Bell and Erin Whalen led Vanderbilt with nine points. It was the lowest offensive output of the season for the Commodores  their previous low was 56 points in a loss to Arkansas.

Vanderbilt coach Stephanie White said Mississippi State “did exactly what a top program should do.”

“We obviously didn’t respond,” White said. “We were a little wide-eyed to start the game. You can’t play a great team and have fear in your mind.”

Mississippi State used 13 players and 12 scored. The Bulldogs’ backups had 38 points.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores host LSU on Monday.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs make the short trip to face in-state rival Ole Miss on Sunday.