STARKVILLE, Miss. — Zia Cooke scored 19 points and Victaria Saxton added 13 to help No. 4 South Carolina rout 21st-ranked Mississippi State 75-52 on Thursday night.
After scoring just 10 points in the first quarter and trailing by one, South Carolina used a dominant second quarter to take control of the game.
Cooke scored the first eight points to spark a 12-0 run that led to a 36-23 halftime advantage and the Bulldogs never recovered.
Mississippi State (8-6, 3-4 SEC) shot just 22 of 65 from the field in the game as the Bulldogs could never find the bottom of the net consistently despite some good looks inside the paint. Sophomore All-SEC player Rickea Jackson score just two points in the first half before finding some offensive rhythm in the second half and scoring a team-high 15 points.
It was a dominant performance in the paint for the Gamecocks (13-1, 8-0) as they outscored Mississippi State 44-28 inside and had a commanding 51-38 rebounding advantage. The Gamecocks star center Aliyah Boston was held to just six points but totaled 12 rebounds.
Saxton had 11 rebounds for a double-double.
South Carolina: The win for South Carolina kept them atop the SEC rankings as they look to take a second-straight SEC title.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are in the middle of their worst stretch of basketball in seven years. The loss to the Gamecocks was the third-straight for MSU and the first three-game losing streak since 2014.
South Carolina hosts Alabama on Sunday.
Mississippi State hosts Tennessee next Thursday.
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