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SEC WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT - 3RD ROUND - Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, TN

Bulldogs cruise past Wildcats, advance to semis

108 days ago
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Roshunda Johnson scored 20 points, and No. 1 seed Mississippi State remained undefeated by beating No. 9 seed Kentucky 81-58 Friday to advance to the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.

The Bulldogs (31-0) extended the nation's longest winning streak and are trying to add their first tournament title to the regular-season championship. They will play either No. 5 seed Texas A&M or No. 4 seed LSU for a third consecutive spot in the final.

Teaira McCowan had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Mississippi State. Victoria Vivians added 17 points and Blair Schaefer had 15, tying her career-high with five 3-pointers.

With the loss, Kentucky (15-17) ended the SEC's longest active streak of trips to the semifinals at eight straight.

Taylor Murray led the Wildcats with 15 points. Maci Morris and Amanda Paschal each added 13.

Kentucky took a 23-22 lead at the end of the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Paschal with 8 seconds left.

Mississippi State scored the first 10 points of the second quarter, and the SEC's best 3-point shooters put on a show. Schaefer hit a 3 with 6:43 left with Johnson hitting the next 3 -- all outside the arc. She hit one, then stole the inbound pass from Morris and quickly knocked down a 3 for her third in the span of 67 seconds.

Schaefer then added a 3 for a 41-25 lead that was the Bulldogs' largest of the first half, and Mississippi State was up 45-32 at half.

The Bulldogs outscored Kentucky 23-12 in the third quarter, taking a 68-44 lead into the fourth. They led by as much as 70-44 on a pair of free throws by Vivians seconds into the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT: The Bulldogs face the winner of Game #8 between No. 4 seed LSU and No. 5 seed Texas A&M in the semifinals at 5 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU.