COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Victoria Vivians scored 25 points and No. 3 Mississippi State avoided an upset with a 72-67 victory over No. 23 Texas A&M on Sunday.
The Aggies (19-8, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) led by seven points in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs (27-1, 13-1) charged back, highlighted by Teaira McCowan's two field goals in the paint in the last 1:17. McCowan had 16 points for the Bulldogs
A&M had a seven-point lead with seven minutes remaining, but Vivians scored 10 points the rest of the way to key the comeback. The Aggies lost despite making all seven of their 3-point attempts, including 4 for 4 by Danni Williams and 3 for 3 by Taylor Cooper. Williams led the Aggies with 23 points.
Mississippi State's reserves outscored their A&M counterparts 28-0, and the Bulldogs held a 34-22 advantage in the paint. Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer spent 15 years with A&M coach Gary Blair as an assistant, the first six at Arkansas and the last nine at A&M, prior to taking the MSU job five years ago.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs won for the first time in four tries in College Station, and swept the season series. With the comeback victory, MSU locked up one of the top two seeds in the SEC Tournament that starts March 2 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Texas A&M: The Aggies crept into the Top 25 this week at No. 23, but suffered two losses, first at LSU on Thursday and then on Sunday to the Bulldogs. A&M will kick itself over this latest setback for a while, considering the Aggies had the late seven-point lead.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs will try and stretch their winning streak to eight games when they play at Kentucky on Thursday night.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will try and snap a two-game losing streak when they play host to No. 6 South Carolina on Thursday night.