Bianca Thomas scored 18 points, and eighth-seeded Mississippi beat ninth-seeded Mississippi State 54-49 Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference women's tournament.
Mississippi (13-15) won its first-round game for the fifth straight year and improved to 6-1 against its instate rival in the tournament. The Rebels will play No. 7 LSU, the SEC's regular season champion, in Friday's quarterfinals.
Mississippi State (16-14) lost for the fourth consecutive year in the opening round.
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