No. 8 Mississippi State beats SE Louisiana 81-41

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Chinwe Okorie and Victoria Vivians both scored 13 points to lead No. 8 Mississippi State past Southeastern Louisiana 81-41 on Monday night.

Mississippi State (12-1) won its seventh straight game. The Bulldogs never trailed, jumping to a 27-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. Morgan William led the early run, scoring nine points.

William and Blair Schaefer both added 12 points.

Southeastern Louisiana (1-10) lost its third straight. The Lions managed to stay competitive in the first half after falling behind early, but they could never cut the Bulldogs' advantage to single digits and slowly fell into a big deficit in the second half.

Nanna Pool led the Lions with 18 points.

Mississippi State won despite shooting just 35.5 percent (27 of 76) from the field. That's because Southeastern Louisiana also struggled, shooting 21.1 percent (12 of 55).

It was a lackluster game for Mississippi State against a mediocre opponent. The Bulldogs hadn't played in a week and looked rusty on the offensive end - especially in the first half - going nearly 6 minutes without scoring in the second quarter.

Mississippi State did have a big advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Lions 60-38. Southeastern Louisiana had 24 turnovers.

Mississippi State will likely need a much better performance on Wednesday when it plays No. 20 South Florida in Jacksonville on Wednesday. The Bulldogs haven't faced a nationally ranked opponent since losing 53-47 to then-No. 6 Texas on Dec. 2.


SE Louisiana: The Lions have struggled against teams from the Power Five conferences this season. They have also lost 97-53 to Arkansas, 102-49 to Georgia Tech and 113-51 to Texas Tech.

Mississippi State: William came into the game shooting 88.6 percent from the free throw line, which ranks second in the Southeastern Conference. She was 5 of 5 on Monday.


SE Louisiana hosts Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 4.

Mississippi State faces South Florida in the SEC/AAC Challenge in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday.


Follow David Brandt on Twitter: