OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Teaira McCowan scored 20 of her career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter, and Mississippi State defeated Washington 75-64 on Friday night to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time.
McCowan, a 6-foot-7 sophomore center who entered the game averaging just over eight points per game, made 9 of 10 field goals in the final 10 minutes. She scored 11 points in the first 2:33 of the fourth quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead for the second-seeded Bulldogs (32-4).
Plum scored 29 points and Chantel Osahor added 17 points and 11 rebounds in their final games for third-seeded Washington, (29-6) which reached the Final Four last season.
Mississippi State led 38-29 at halftime. Plum exploded for 10 points in the third quarter, and the defense picked up to help Washington take a 50-48 lead into the fourth quarter before McCowan took over.
Washington: It was the Huskies’ third straight NCAA Tournament appearance under coach Mike Neighbors, and the first time they reached the Sweet 16 in back-to-back years. Guards Aarion McDonald and Natalie Romeo are slated to return next year. Katie Collier, the other starter besides Plum and Osahor, is a senior.
Mississippi State: Last season ended with a 60-point loss to Connecticut in the Sweet 16, an experience coach Vic Schaefer said helped prepare his team for this season. The Bulldogs held Washington to 39 percent shooting.