December 3, 2018 10:34:37 AM
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team's toughest test of the early season had a familiar result: another rout.
Jazzmun Holmes scored 17 points, Chloe Bibby had 14, and Teaira McCowan rebounded her way to a school record to help No. 6 MSU roll past No. 10 Texas 67-49 on Sunday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The Bulldogs entered the marquee matchup of powerhouse programs braced for a slugfest after a series of early season blowouts. MSU has made it to the NCAA tournament final the last two seasons and Texas has advanced to the Sweet 16 or further each of the last four years.
The Bulldogs barely gave the Longhorns a chance to take the floor before they were running them off their home court.
"I think my whole team had a presence today," MSU coach Vic Schaefer said. "From tip to finish we were dominant. We played our game."
MSU earned its first victory against a top-10 squad this season. For the first time in school history, MSU held a top-10 team to less than 50 points.
MSU also outscored Texas 48-28 in the paint and forced 22 turnovers. McCowan's 12 rebounds gave her 1,109 for her career, breaking the school record of 1,108 set by LaToya Thomas. And while the score fell far below their average of 97 points, the Bulldogs were in complete control.
MSU (8-0) ended the first quarter with a 10-0 run. The Bulldogs led by 17 at halftime and stretched it to 24 in the third quarter. Even when Texas made a run late in the period, Bibby beat the shot-clock buzzer with a layup and then made a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 20 to start the fourth quarter.
Sug Sutton scored 16 points for Texas (7-1). The Longhorns scored their fewest points since they had 48 in loss to Baylor in 2016.
"As really good, aggressive teams do, they came out of the gates and punched pretty hard," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "We talk a lot about what we would love our team identity to be. Clearly that's what theirs was and is. I thought our team just didn't handle it very well."
McCowan recorded her 14th consecutive double-double and could have gobbled up even more rebounds if she wasn't limited by foul trouble early on. She used her 6-foot-7 frame to dominate on both ends of the court. The only thing McCowan didn't do was block a shot. She came in with 25, which ranked No. 1 nationally.
Texas was without junior forward Joyner Holmes, who has been out with an ankle injury. Texas hopes to have her back in time for its next game against No. 11 Tennessee on Sunday.
"She warmed up today. I thought she might play. She's going to give them a completely different look," Schaefer said.
Aston wasn't ready to say Holmes would have made a difference Sunday.
"Joyner obviously has some experience," Aston said. "We have to kind of look in the mirror about our toughness."
In addition to getting foff to a fast start, the Bulldogs also contained senior transfer Danni Williams and freshman Audrey Warren. Both played more than 27 minutes but totaled just six points, six rebounds, three assists, and four turnovers.
"I'm awfully proud of my team ," Schaefer said. "These two (Jazzmun Holmes and Teaira McCowan) were special. In a big game, in big moments, there's so many moments in a game like this. You have two top-10 teams battling. It was a battle. That's who we are at Mississippi State. That's how we play the game. That's how we honor the game, and I'm really proud of our kids."
MSU earned its 44th-straight non-conference regular-season victory. The win sets the stage for a return to Starkville, where MSU will play host to No. 22 Marquette.
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