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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Senior class reaches 100 career victories

Olivia Zeringue | The Reflector

Breanna Richardson surpassed 1,000 points in her career. The senior class is the first class to ever reach 100 career victories.

The Mississippi State women’s basketball team had a star-studded performance accompanied by important milestones in the 70-53 win against the Missouri Tigers Sunday afternoon.  

The Bulldogs began the game with a suffocating defense for the Tigers.  However, Missouri did not let the defense take control of them as the offense set its own pace. Guard Sophie Cunningham led her team to a great start with eight points as Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with seven points.

Head coach Vic Schaefer said the defensive haul from the team separated them from Missouri early.

“I thought defensively we came out of the locker room locked in,” Schaefer said. “I thought that was the difference.”

The Tigers quickly shut down the Bulldogs’ centers Chinwe Okorie and Teaira McCowan, leaving the guards to lead the team to its victory.

During the second quarter, early fouls began to hinder the Bulldogs’ rhythm. They took a step back to figure out how they were going to score in a smoother fashion. Both teams’ guards Cunningham and Vivians had three fouls at the half.

 It did not take long to find an answer as the depth of the roster, Coach Schaefer praises, was exemplified in Dominique Dillingham, who executed a perfect display of performance on both sides of the ball with her matchup against Cunningham. 

Cunningham said Dillingham is a tough contender who forced her to have more control than usual.

“She’s scrappy. You have to have a lot of body control and poise against her,” Cunningham said. “Even though I had the advantage on size, I had to focus more since she’s good with offensive fouls.”

In the first half, the Bulldogs defensive stride was unmatched, accompanied by the Tiger’s discombobulation. With those working against Missouri, they totaled 13 turnovers compared to the Bulldogs’ eight. The Bulldogs capitalized successfully and scored 22 points off turnovers in the first half.

Dillingham ended the first half with an astounding 16 points.  Morgan William’s six assists helped the team out with spreading the ball across the court. Dillingham and the Bulldogs took charge with a nine point lead at 36-27.

The Bulldogs charged into the second half with an overbearing performance for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Missouri came out flat as Breanna Richardson came into the game ready to execute the game plans.

 Richardson also completed her personal milestone of 1,000 career points as a Bulldog, with a jumper in the third quarter.

Schaefer discussed Richardson’s accomplishment and what he thinks it means for her for the remainder of the season.

“She’s got 1,000 points and 650 rebounds so far,” Schaefer said. “You talk about making an impact while she’s here and now she has more motivation to make it 700 before she’s done. She impacts her team so much.”

Richardson said she does not get guarded as much but she understands the importance of capitalizing from it to help the team succeed.

“I’ve been in the gym and knocking down shots,” Richardson said. “People are going to start guarding me and Dom at the same time. Until they get the memo I’ll just keep knocking down shots.”

Richardson did just that as she scored 11 of the 16 points of the third quarter. Missouri reclaimed their presence into the game with a three pointer from Amber Smith with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter.

Down 47-27, Missouri began to take a stand in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs had a strong tempo running that would not allow the Tigers cut into it. With Richardson, Dillingham and Vivians back in, the team was at it’s biggest potential. 

With the 70-53 win over Mizzou, the four seniors of the roster accomplished it’s 100th win. Overall, this is the winningest class in Mississippi State history, even with the remaining six games before the SEC tournament March 1.

Three Bulldogs finished the game in double figures in the win. Accompanied by Richardson’s 13 and Vivians’ 15 points, Dominique Dillingham scored 24 points for the Bulldogs. She also had three steals and two blocks. The trio combined for 52 of the 70 points of the game.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs improved to 23-1 overall in 9-1 in the SEC conference.

The Bulldogs are back in the Hump Thursday night against the Vanderbilt Commodores at 8 p.m. before a road trip against rival Ole Miss in Oxford Feb. 12.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Senior class reaches 100 career victories