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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

No. 10 Bulldogs take down No. 8 Texas

Olivia Zeringue | The Reflector

Morgan William dribbles the ball in front of a Texas defender. She led the Bulldogs to a 79-68 win with 23 points. MSU is 4-0. 

It was a triumphant day in The Humphrey Coliseum as 7,764 fans welcomed the No. 10 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs home to overcome the No. 8 Texas Longhorns in a 79-68 victory Sunday night. 

“We were able to do this on national TV: show everyone what Starkvegas and women’s basketball’s all about.” Head coach Vic Schaefer said after the Bulldogs delivered in their victory against Texas.

  The Bulldogs started the game with a steady pace and aggressive demeanor, not allowing the Longhorns to establish any tempo. They set a dominant attitude and did not let up, taking a 16-16 lead into the second quarter.

Mississippi State took overwhelming control in the second quarter, getting the Longhorns out of their way. With Texas reaching small depth, the Bulldogs outscored Texas 26-9. An ear shattering crowd cheered them on, giving the Bulldogs the energy they needed to keep their successful execution going. 

Usual Longhorn stars Brooke McCarty and Ariel Atkins got into a shooting rhythm of their own and scored 37 of Texas’ 68 points.

Schaefer praised McCarty as being the heart and soul of the team, collecting a team high 19 points. He also mentioned his pride in the early test Texas gave individual players. 

He brought light to William’s success guarding McCarty, getting her trapped in many transitional parts of the game that could have cost the Bulldogs. William discussed the experience against one of the nation’s best guards. 

“She was a good match up,” William said. “I tried to guard her as much as possible because she’s such a great shooter,” 

“I had to give my all on my screens against her.” 

William rallied up a team high 23 points, 13 of which came from free throws. In the fourth quarter, she collected 10 from Schaefer’s strategy of getting easy points during the bonus fouls.

“She’s so good at the line and on the stretch,” Coach Schaefer said “You want to get the ball in her hand during bonus.”

He put his faith into many of his Bulldogs as the bench was checked in to allow usual starters to rest. In the notable second quarter, he checked in Jazzmun Holmes, Roshunda Johnson and Blair Schaefer for Dominique Dillingham, Morgan William and Victoria Vivians with a comfortable seven point lead.

The bench gave the same dominating performance and extended the lead to 12 before Vivians was called back in. Compared to last season, the bench performed at the same level of intensity, giving Mississippi State an advantage amongst teams.

“Our depth showed today,” Coach Schaefer said. “It’s much easier to coach when you’ve got all of these skilled, young players who want to play ball.”

With so many Bulldogs contributing to the win, team leader Vivians is now just a viable option. Though with her usual and irreplaceable performance with 19 points, she feels more relaxed and in control of how she plays.

“Everyone stepped in and it was a lot different,” Vivians said. “Everyone can go to the basketball and score, and bigs can score. It’s not just me. I don’t have to take bad shots or force anything.”

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No. 10 Bulldogs take down No. 8 Texas