State Picked Second, Trio Of Bulldogs Earn SEC Honors From League Coaches

Courtesy: MSU Athletics
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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After being picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference by media this season, league coaches also predicted the Mississippi State women's basketball team to finish second while garnering Victoria Vivians, Morgan William and Teaira McCowan with Preseason All-SEC accolades.

Vivians and William were named to the first team, while McCowan was tabbed to the second team. League media also named Vivians and William to their five-player Preseason All-SEC squad.

State and Tennessee were the only teams with multiple first team selections.

The three Bulldogs were the leading scorers for Vic Schaefer's 2016-17 squad that set school records with 34 overall wins and 13 SEC victories en route to advancing to the national championship game in the first Final Four appearance in program history.

Vivians, a Carthage, Miss., native, earned the preseason nod following a stellar junior season that saw her claim First Team All-SEC and Associated Press Third Team All-America honors. The Bulldog senior averaged a team-best 16.2 ppg and tallied a career-high 18.1 ppg in SEC contests.

She recorded a personal-best 633 points last season, eighth-most in program history and third-most by a Bulldog junior. Vivians, who also averaged 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg and 1.4 spg, collected 35 double-figure scoring games a year ago, including knocking down 20-plus points 11 times.

Vivians, who earned votes for Preseason Player of the Year, was named to the Oklahoma City All-Region Team after averaging 18.5 points and 5.0 rebounds against Washington and Baylor, and she claimed All-Final Four Team accolades after 19 points against UConn and 12 in the national title game against South Carolina.

She enters her senior campaign with 1,754 career points, two back of tying Alexis Rack for third in program history.

William tallied Preseason All-SEC accolades after rating second on the team with 10.9 ppg a year ago. The Birmingham, Ala., native averaged 9.5 ppg in SEC play.

She earned Associated Press All-America and Second Team All-SEC accolades after shooting 46.3% from the field and an SEC third-best 84.2% from the free-throw line. William also set the MSU single-season assists record with 181 and also claimed the top spot on the career list with 480.

William was named Most Outstanding Player of the Oklahoma City Regional after averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the wins against Washington and Baylor. She tallied 41 points in the Elite Eight victory against the Bears, the most ever by an SEC player in an NCAA Tournament game.

She followed that performance with 13 points, including the winning bucket in overtime, and six assists in the Bulldogs' historic win against UConn in the national semifinal. That epic performance earned her a spot with Vivians on the All-Final Four Team.

McCowan had a breakout sophomore campaign for State, earning the school's first SEC Sixth Woman of the Year after tallying 8.7 ppg and team highs with 7.1 rpg and 1.5 bpg. She also shot 56.9 percent from the field, the fifth-best season percentage in MSU history.

The Brenham, Texas, native bumped her numbers to 9.3 ppg and 7.2 rpg in SEC contests.

McCowan moved into the starting lineup in the NCAA Tournament, and in those six starts, nearly averaged a double-double with 11.7 points and 9.5 rebounds. That tally included 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in wins against Washington and Baylor, earning her a spot on the Oklahoma City All-Region Team.

Schaefer's 2017-18 Bulldogs welcome Arkansas-Fort Smith to Humphrey Coliseum on Nov. 3 for a 6 p.m. exhibition. Admission to that contest, which will be streamed on SEC Network +, is free.

The Bulldogs officially begin the season Nov. 10, hosting Virginia at 8 p.m. in the second half of a doubleheader with the MSU men's team. Tickets for that contest are sold separately from season tickets and can be purchased online at www.hailstate.com/tickets or by phone at 1-888-GO-DAWGS.

SEC Preseason Coaches Poll

Order of Finish
1. South Carolina
2. Mississippi State
3. Missouri
4. Texas A&M
5. Tennessee
6. Kentucky
7. LSU
8. Georgia
9. Alabama
10. Vanderbilt
11. Auburn
12. Ole Miss
13. Florida
14. Arkansas

Player of the Year
A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

First Team All-SEC
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Morgan William, Mississippi State
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
A'ja Wilson, South Carolina
Jaime Nared, Tennessee
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Khaalia Hillsman, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC
Caliya Robinson, Georgia
Taylor Murray, Kentucky
Shandricka Sessom, Ole Miss
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State
Cierra Porter, Missouri
Jordan Frericks, Missouri
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
Anriel Howard, Texas A&M
Danni Williams, Texas A&M