RUSTON, La. (AP) Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians sprinted down the court with the basketball and surveyed her options, glancing at the other maroon and white jerseys working to get in position for a shot.
Nothing looked appealing so she stopped a few feet short of the 3-point line and let it fly.
The end result was one of Vivians’ seven 3-pointers as the sophomore guard scored a season-high 36 points in ninth-ranked Mississippi State’s 93-63 victory over Louisiana Tech on Sunday.
”I like shooting,” Vivians said. ”So if it’s going in, I’m going to keep shooting.”
The shots were certainly falling for Vivians during the first half, when she scored 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range as the Bulldogs built a 53-25 halftime lead.
Mississippi State (7-1) led by as many as 48 points late in the third quarter. The 30-point margin was the second worst home loss in Louisiana Tech history.
Mississippi State used a 29-2 run that started in the first quarter and extended into the second to take control. Vivians scored 19 points during that run, including five 3-pointers.
”She was feeling it and I was running everything I could for her,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. ”She really got some good, clean looks.”
Morgan William added 12 points and eight assists for the Bulldogs.
Louisiana Tech (4-5) scored the game’s first nine points, but that was the end of the good news. Mississippi State responded with 19 straight points and the Lady Techsters could never get back into the game.
”You see our young team back down a little bit,” Louisiana Tech coach Tyler Summitt said. ”It’s an experience for us and we’ve got to know that when somebody goes on a run, you’ve got to stay consistent and keep playing hard. It’s a good learning point for us.”
Brandi Wingate led Louisiana Tech with 25 points. She made 7 of 12 shots from the field and all 10 of her free throws.
Vivians has been very good this season, leading the Bulldogs with 17.9 points per game heading into Sunday. But after she hit back-to-back 3-pointers in quick succession early in the first quarter it became clear this could be an impressive day.
Vivians’ height as a guard – she’s 6-foot-1 – allows her to shoot over just about everyone on the perimeter and keeps her competitive when venturing into the paint. She scored from both places with ease against the Lady Techsters, especially in the first half.
While Vivians was undeniably the star on Sunday, the rest of the Bulldogs were pretty good, too. Mississippi State shot 62.9 percent (22 of 35) from the field in the first half.
Breannan Richardson added 12 points off the bench.
Louisiana Tech: The Lady Techsters are coached by Tyler Summitt, the son of former Tennessee coach and Hall of Famer Pat Summitt. … Louisiana Tech had 24 turnovers.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs had a 40-16 advantage on points in the paint and their bench contributed 33 points. … Vivians’ career-high is 39 points scored last season against Kentucky.
Louisiana Tech hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
Mississippi State hosts Southern Mississippi on Wednesday.
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