/South Carolina, State’s SEC nemesis, had no answer for Teaira McCowan this time

South Carolina, State’s SEC nemesis, had no answer for Teaira McCowan this time

That’s South Carolina. Who was there to stop State’s incredible win streak in the SEC Championship? That’s South Carolina. South Carolina’s extraordinary run as the women’s basketball coach at Mississippi State is a roadblock. On Thursday night, Schaefer with his seventh-ranked Bulldogs won No. South Carolina’s best shot was 15 South Carolina’s. Schaefer and his seventh-ranked Bulldogs batted it away much in the same way Teaira McCowan bats away an opposing shot. With force and fury. McCowan scored 26 points and grabbed 24 rebounds to break open the game. State won the fourth quarter 87-74 before a raucous crowd of 10,006 people at The Hump. Listen: McCowan was the senior All-American and had more rebounds than the entire South Carolina team. She played every minute. She attempted nine field goals out of fifteen. Eight of nine free throws were made by her. She blocked two shots, and made so many other. State won the game in the point where the Bulldogs beat South Carolina 44-22. McCowan was the main reason. The Gamecocks were outrebounded by State 49-24. McCowan was the main reason for this. McCowan is still in contention for the National Player of the year award, which was won last year by A’ja Wilson from South Carolina. All of it was needed, as well as Jordan Danbury’s 20 point, seven assists and six rebounds, and Bre’Amber Scott’s 11 points from the bench. The reason is that, even though South Carolina’s basketball skills have slowed down a bit with Wilson’s graduation, the Gamecocks are still a highly skilled and well-coached team that can shoot the ball better. State also suffered a nightmare opening minute when Chloe Bibby (probably the most talented player on the team this season, and definitely its most dangerous perimeter shooter) went down with what appeared like a serious knee injury. She was helped to the ground and she never returned. Schafer stated that he hoped for positive news. He said, “What happened tonight was what you dread being a coach.” He said, “I’ll be praying the whole night.” But clearly, he was afraid of the worst, which would be a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Schaefer spoke with emotion about Bibby, an Australian immigrant, and how hard she worked this season. She was scoring 13.6 points per contest and shooting 45 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Schaefer is certain that the injury will be as severe as Schaefer fears. Bibby’s loss will create a huge hole in State’s lineup. State was already trying to replace the perimeter shooters of Roshunda Johnson, Victoria Vivians and Blair Schaefer. Bibby’s loss would only exacerbate these losses. If Bibby is gone, opponents will likely sag even further back into McCowan’s lane and around McCowan. Scott appears to be the next woman for the ‘Dogs. Little Rock sophomore had scored 3.3 points in 10.5 minutes each game prior to this one. She was a huge success against the Gamecocks. She hit five of seven shots, scored 11 points in 27 minutes, and one of two treys. McCowan, the great equalizer and scorer, is a huge help. Schaefer stated, “She’s one the all-time greats.” Dawn Staley, South Carolina coach, might have received a bigger compliment. When asked how her team handled McCowan (again 26 points, 24 rebound, two blocks), Staley said, “I thought that we did the best we can.” McCowan also spoke volumes at the press conference. McCowan smiled and answered, “Have your ever out-rebounded an entire squad before?” She replied, “I did tonight.”