No. 3 Mississippi State was in control from tip to final buzzer in a 71-52 victory over No. 6 Tennessee. The key, according to Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer? Toughness and rebounding.
The Lady Vols were outrebounded 44-33. Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan grabbed 18 rebounds herself, 10 of them coming from the offensive glass.
'We just didn't play hard as a team for 40 minutes," said freshman guard Evina Westbrook after the game. "Period. That can't happen."
The freshman hit a jump shot at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter, cutting the Mississippi State lead to 9 with ten minutes to play, but the Bulldogs pulled away with time to spare.
There was a huge discrepancy in the outside game. Mississippi State went 7/18 from three, while the Lady Vols failed to make a a shot from downtown, going 0/8.
The two veterans on the team, Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell combined for 28 points.
The Lady Vols will get four days off before the team's next game against Ole Miss on January 25 in Knoxville.
We Back Pat Week
Even with the loss, the Lady Vols kicked off We Back Pat Week for the SEC. Between the first and second quarter, The Pat Summitt Foundation donated a check of $500,000 to the Pat Summitt Clinic at UT Medical Center.