MSU women top Arizona State in Sweet 16

 

 

 

FROM SPECIAL REPORTS 

 

PORTLAND, Ore. - Teaira McCowan delivered another game for the records on Friday. 

 

The senior center became the top rebounder in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament history on Friday night at the Moda Center, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds in Mississippi State's 76-53 win over Arizona State in the Portland Regional semifinals. 

 

McCowan has 222 career rebounds in the NCAA Tournament with as many as three games still to play. She broke a record held by Sylvia Fowles of LSU. 

 

McCowan also scored a game-high 22 points, hitting a game-high 10 free throws. It was her 30th double-double of the season, setting a personal single-season record. 

 

The victory sends the Bulldogs (33-2) to Sunday's regional final against Oregon (33-4), which defeated South Dakota State 63-53 on Friday night. 

 

Sunday's game is a matchup of the top two seeds in the Portland Regional and a rematch of a game won by Oregon in December. The top-seeded Bulldogs are attempting to reach the Final Four for the third consecutive year. Tipoff is 1 p.m. CT. 

 

One of MSU's two losses this season came on Dec. 18 at Oregon, when the Ducks defeated the Bulldogs, 82-74. 

 

Just as she did in last Sunday night's second-round win over Clemson, McCowan put together a dominant second half. She scored 20 points and had 10 free throws in the second half, helping the Bulldogs pull away from Arizona State. Last week against Clemson, McCowan scored 15 points in the final quarter. 

 

"I told my kids tonight the tougher team was going to win," said MSU coach Vic Schaefer. "It was going to be about toughness and resilience tonight. I thought we were really tough and showed a lot of resilience." 

 

McCowan more than tripled any Arizona State player in rebounds. Courtney Embark, a guard, led the Sun Devils with four rebounds. 

 

MSU nearly shut out Arizona State in the final six minutes of the game, allowing only a 3-pointer. MSU outscored the Sun Devils 14-3 during that stretch. 

 

Senior point guard Jazzmun Holmes was a staple for the Bulldogs, playing 39 minutes and not committing a turnover. She had a team-high 7 assists and scored 13 points. 

 

Andra Espinoza-Hunter added 12 points, and Anriel Howard and Jordan Danberry each scored 11. 

 

Senior forward Kianna Ibis led Arizona State (22-11) with 16 points. 

 

 

 

 

 

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