No. 8 Mississippi State beats Mississippi Valley 109-37
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Kayla Nevitt, Teaira McCowan and LaKaris Salter were the team's three leading scorers during No. 8 Mississippi State's dominant 109-37 victory over Mississippi Valley on Tuesday night.
As the games get tougher this season, that probably won't be the case.
But Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said the performance by his three young bench players bodes well for the future.
''I need for all of them to play a role in our success this year,'' Schaefer said. ''It's really good to see Kayla come out and shoot the way she did.''
Nevitt scored a career-high 20 points on 9 of 16 shooting from the field. The 5-foot-10 sophomore also added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
She had a limited role on last season's team, averaging 2.9 points in 18 appearances. Now Schaefer would like to see her presence on the court expand and performances like Tuesday's make him confident that can happen.
''It puts something in the back of my mind that I can't let him down,'' Nevitt said. ''I need to continue to work harder to prove his point.''
Mississippi State (3-0) led 59-14 at halftime and pushed that advantage to 80-18 late in the third quarter before Mississippi Valley (0-4) scored eight straight points. The Bulldogs led by as many as 75 points late in the game.
It was the second double-double of McCowan's young career. The 6-foot-7 freshman center scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Six Mississippi State players scored in double figures. Salter added 15 points and Victoria Vivians had 14.
Mississippi Valley was led by 15 points from Christina Reed, but the Delta Devils were plagued by 34 turnovers.
Mississippi State's bench scored 72 points. The Bulldogs shot 45 of 91 (49.5 percent) from the field and outrebounded Mississippi Valley 55-25.
The game was a blowout quickly. Mississippi State jumped out to a 31-7 lead by the end of the first quarter, led by all of Vivians' 14 points.
The 6-foot-1 Vivians - a sophomore who came into the game averaging a team-high 15 points per game - hit three 3-pointers in the opening minutes as the Bulldogs built a 19-2 advantage. They scored easily in transition and took advantage of Mississippi Valley's constant turnovers.
''I didn't think offensively we were really good early, but I thought (Vivians) was,'' Schaefer said. ''She got us going a little bit.''
STAT SHEET STUFFING:
The Bulldogs dominated in the paint with a 64-18 scoring advantage and had 41 points off turnovers.
Mississippi State: It's the second straight game that the Bulldogs have topped 100 points. They beat Grambling 107-43 on Saturday.
Mississippi Valley: The Delta Devils have had a rough time against SEC opponents so far this season. They've lost 97-61 to Ole Miss, 89-39 to Vanderbilt and 98-35 to Alabama.
Mississippi State hosts Norfolk State on Friday.
Mississippi Valley travels to face Southern Miss on Friday.
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