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MSU women open NCAA Tournament with rout of Nicholls State

One game, one win for the Mississippi State women in the NCAA tournament.

This one was over shortly after it began as the top-seeded Bulldogs took care of the #16 seed Nicholls State 95-50. Already out to a 9-point lead after the 1st quarter, MSU really buried the Colonels in the 2nd, outscoring them 33-11 and taking a 30-point lead into the half.

The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Victoria Vivians with 20 points and starters, Blair Schaefer and Teaira McCowan, pitched in 18 each. Improved from the effort against South Carolina, the MSU bench scored 24 points in the winning effort. Against USC, the bench combined for just 10 points from two players.

Despite the big win, head coach Vic Schaefer was unhappy with his team’s performance throughout the night.

“We’ve just got to get back to doing what got us 32-0. Unfortunately, I saw more of what got us the one loss, than what got us all of 32 wins tonight,” Schaefer told ESPN.

While Schaefer may not have been pleased, the crowd of 10,200+ had plenty to cheer for as the Bulldogs took their first step toward an NCAA Championship. The next step will be a second-round matchup against Oklahoma State in Starkville.

In one of their closest games this season, the Bulldogs beat OSU 79-76 before the beginning of conference play. With revenge on Oklahoma State’s mind, MSU will have to play sharp and expect more of a fight than they got on Saturday.

OSU put up 87 points in their first-round matchup against Syracuse, so it could be an offensive showcase on both ends of the court when this one tips off on Monday night at 8:00 p.m.

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