COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Victoria Vivians made a go-ahead jumper with four seconds left and No. 2 Mississippi State continued its perfect season with a 57-53 road victory against No. 15 Missouri on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs and Tigers played a tight fourth quarter. Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham tied the game at 53 with nine seconds left with a 3-pointer.
Vivians then hit her shot to make it 55-53. After an offensive foul on Jordan Frericks, Teaira McCowan hit two free throws to seal the game for Mississippi State (23-0, 9-0 Southeastern Conference).
Blair Schaefer led the Bulldogs with a season-high 20 points, but Mississippi State struggled shooting the ball all night. However, the Bulldogs’ defense held Missouri (17-6, 5-4) to just 32 percent from the field in the second half.
McCowan finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Vivians added 15 points. Schaefer, McCowan and Vivians accounted for 52 of the Bulldogs’ 57 points, and Mississippi State shot just 31 percent from the field.
Missouri shot 48 percent in the first half, and posted a 25-16 rebounding edge at the break as well.
The game marked Mississippi State’s closest win in conference play. The Bulldogs had previously defeated each conference opponent by double digits.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs barely escaped a tough Missouri team, but they remain perfect at 23-0. Mississippi State’s victory marked its second top-15 road win in the last four games. The Bulldogs defeated No. 6 Tennessee on Jan. 21.
Missouri: The Tigers came close to an impressive upset, but they’ve now lost three in a row after being on the cusp of reaching the top 10. The stretch, coming against three top-25 teams, has placed Missouri in the middle of the pack in the conference standings.
Mississippi State returns home Monday to face No. 7 South Carolina, which was blown out Thursday night by No. 1 Connecticut.
Missouri hosts Florida Monday.