NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Roshunda Johnson scored 20 points, and No. 2 Mississippi State remained undefeated by routing 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. 15 Texas A&M or No. 24 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. That was the best it would get for the Wildcats.
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.
Kentucky: The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Mississippi State 27-20, but the Bulldogs swept them adding a tournament win for a third victory this season. They hurt themselves with too many turnovers (13) that were turned into 21 points.
Mississippi State: The SEC's best 3-point shooters hit 10 of 21 outside the arc. The Bulldogs made 8 of 12 in the first half. ... They also had a big advantage at the free throw line (15 of 17) compared with Kentucky (5 of 7). ... McCown notched her 23rd double-double of the season.
Kentucky: Hope for a berth in the women's NIT or other postseason tournament.
Mississippi State: SEC semifinal Saturday against Texas A&M or LSU.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201