Victoria Vivians scored 20 of her 24 points in the first half to help spark a struggling Mississippi State offense and the No. 2 Bulldogs rallied to beat No. 7 South Carolina 67-53 on Monday night.
The Bulldogs (24-0, 10-0 SEC) ended an 11-game losing streak to the Gamecocks that included a defeat in the national championship game last season.
A 13-0 run to begin the fourth quarter was the difference in the game as the Bulldogs turned a five-point third quarter deficit into a lead they wouldn't lose, much to the delight of the sellout crowd of 10,794 fans that was a Humphrey Coliseum record.
Blair Schaefer hit two big 3-pointers during that stretch to help flip the game in the Bulldogs' favor.
South Carolina (18-5, 7-3) started the game up 20-10 after one quarter holding the Bulldogs to just 4-of-16 from the field. The second quarter belonged to the Bulldogs who inserted freshman forward Chloe Bibby to guard A'ja Wilson. South Carolina scored eight points in the quarter and the Bulldogs had a 13-2 run that helped them out to a 29-28 halftime advantage.
The Gamecocks had 25 points and 14 rebounds from Wilson but she managed just seven points in the second half. Doniyah Cliney also managed double figures with 10 points but the rest of the team combined for 18 points total.
Mississippi State had 14 points from Blair Schaefer to go along with Vivians' big night. Star center Teaira McCowan had two points in three quarters and finished with nine points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
• Monday’s loss to Mississippi State snapped Carolina’s 11-game winning streak over the Bulldogs.
• Gamecock senior forward A’ja Wilson finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds to record her fourth-straight double-double. Her team-leading 16 double-doubles on the season are tied for first in the SEC.
• Carolina sophomore forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan matched a career high with four blocks against Mississippi State. All four blocks came in the first half.
• Junior guard Doniyah Cliney marked the second Gamecock to reach double figures after totaling 10 points. She has posted double-digit points in five of her last 12 games.
Momentum shifted to the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter after they opened the period on a 13-0 run to build a 52-44 lead with 5:19 to play. Mississippi State knocked down three 3-pointers and shot 5-of-7 from the floor during the pivotal stretch.
The Bulldogs shot well from distance in the early stages of the final quarter, going 3-of-4 from the 3-point line during a three-minute stretch in the fourth period. Mississippi State shot just 3-of-10 from beyond the arc over the first three quarters.
Carolina continues SEC play on Thu., Feb. 8, when it faces Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the contest will air on SEC Network.