KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Cierra Burdick scored a career-high 24 points and had eight rebounds and six assists to help No. 6 Tennessee beat No. 18 Mississippi State 79-67 on Sunday.
The Lady Vols (19-3, 9-0 SEC) are 36-0 against Mississippi State (22-3, 7-3).
Bashaara Graves added 17 points, including nine straight during an 11-0 run early in the second half, as Tennessee won its 17th straight home game. Isabelle Harrison had 11 points and nine assists. Tennessee hasn't lost at home since falling 75-71 to Kentucky on Feb. 16, 2014.
Tennessee shot a season-high 56.9 percent against Mississippi State, which had allowed only three other opponents to shoot over 45 percent. Tennessee made 11 of its first 12 shots in the second half. Victoria Vivians had 17 points to lead Mississippi State. Breanna Richardson scored all 13 of her points in the second half, Kendra Grant had 11, and Jerica James 10.
Although the Bulldogs have a history of frustration against Tennessee, this isn't a typical Mississippi State team.
Mississippi State is two wins shy of matching its school record for victories in a season. The Bulldogs entered Sunday having won four straight conference games, the first time they'd done that since 2006-07.
This marked the first time both teams had been ranked in a Mississippi State-Tennessee game since Kara Lawson's buzzer-beater gave the third-ranked Lady Vols a 76-75 victory over the 10th-ranked Bulldogs in the 2003 SEC tournament.
Vivians made sure this one also stayed close early on by scoring 13 points in the first 11 minutes of the game. The first half alone featured 12 ties, and Tennessee's 36-31 advantage at the intermission matched the largest lead either team had owned up to that point.
Tennessee threatened to put the game away early in the second half when it went on an 11-0 run to grab a 59-44 lead, but the Bulldogs wouldn't go away. Grant's jumper with 3:19 left cut Tennessee's lead to 70-65 before the Lady Vols scored six straight points to put the game out of reach.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs forced 15 turnovers and outscored Tennessee 21-10 in points off turnovers. Mississippi State entered the day with a plus-8 turnover margin that led the SEC and ranked third in the nation.
Tennessee: Graves' 17 points increased her career total to 1,001. This marked the second straight game in which a Lady Vol hit the 1,000-point mark. Senior center Isabelle Harrison reached that milestone Thursday in a 73-72 victory at No. 10 Kentucky. Senior guard Ariel Massengale has 991 points.
Mississippi State hosts No. 12 Texas A&M on Feb. 8.
Tennessee is at Florida on Feb. 8.