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No. 8 Mississippi St cruises past Norfolk State, 92-34

Nov 28, 2015 - 2:57 AM STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Nearly flawless post play led No. 8 Mississippi State to an easy 92-34 victory over Norfolk State on Friday night.

Freshman Teaira McCowan scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while junior Chinwe Okorie added 15 points as the Bulldogs (4-0) breezed to their 25th straight regular season non-conference victory. The two centers were efficient all night - McCowan was 9 of 12 from the field, and Okorie was 7 of 8.

''Boy, that's a great place to start,'' Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said.

Schaefer said McCowan and Okorie deserve credit for their soft touch around the basket, but so do the guards, who hit them with perfect passes for most of the night. The Bulldogs had 29 assists on 36 made field goals.

''I thought we shared the ball tonight and made extra passes,'' Schaefer said. ''We made shots when we were given the opportunity and our inside game was outstanding.''

Sophomore Victoria Vivians also scored 20 points for Mississippi State, which crushed another overmatched opponent. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and have won by an average of nearly 54 points over the season's first four games.

Vivians needed just 18 minutes on the court to do her offensive damage, making 8 of 14 shots, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. McCowan also played just 18 minutes, but still had time to earn her third double-double in four career games.

Okorie is averaging nearly 11 points so far this season after scoring just 3.4 per game last year.

''It's just understanding what the coaches want from me,'' Okorie said. ''He's not expecting 20 points from me. He just wants me to play hard, rebound the ball and get some putbacks. That's what I've really been trying to focus on. I'm still working hard - I'm not satisfied.''

Koryn Lawrence had 12 points for Norfolk State (0-5).

Mississippi State led 51-21 at halftime and continued its dominance with a 17-0 run to begin the third quarter. Vivians scored 12 points in the first half and Okorie added 10.

Mississippi State scored 29 points off 23 Norfolk State turnovers and shot 50 percent (36 of 72) from the field.

''Norfolk's better than they played tonight, but we just played pretty well and we're pretty good at home,'' Schaefer said.

Norfolk State shot just 26.9 percent (14 of 52) from the field and scored only 13 points in the second half.


Norfolk State: This was Norfolk State's first game against a Top 10 opponent since 2002, when the Spartans lost to No. 1 Duke in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs scored 50 points in the paint and the bench scored nearly half (45) of the team's points.


Norfolk State at Morgan State on Dec. 5.

Mississippi State hosts Savannah State on Sunday.


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    Nov 27 9:14 PM

    End of 1st

    Nov 27 7:27 PM

    1st Quarter - 4:32

    Nov 27 7:14 PM