STARKVILLE, Miss. — Teaira McCowan scored 24 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead No. 6 Mississippi State over Southeast Missouri 88-53 in Tuesday night's season opener.
McCowan, a 6-foot-7 senior who is one of the nation's best returning post players, had her first double-double of the year by early in the second quarter. She had 29 double-doubles last season, which set a Southeastern Conference record.
McCowan shot 7 of 11 from the field and made 10 of 15 free throws.
Jazzmun Holmes and Chloe Bibby both scored 11 points for the Bulldogs. Jordan Danberry added 10. The Bulldogs had a 54-26 rebounding advantage.
Southeast Missouri was led by Tesia Thompson, who scored 19 points. Taelour Pruitt added 15. The Redhawks shot just 32.1 percent (17 of 53) from the field and had 20 turnovers.
Mississippi State broke the game open with a 26-13 second quarter and took a 45-25 lead into halftime.
Southeast Missouri: The Redhawks stayed competitive for much of the first quarter, but were clearly overmatched, especially in the paint. All things considered, it wasn't a bad outing for a team that's predicted to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs weren't very crisp, but didn't have much trouble pulling out the victory. As expected, Mississippi State is very good in the post and at point guard. The Bulldogs are still looking for more outside shooting threats beyond Bibby, who hit three out of the team's five 3-pointers.
Southeast Missouri travels to Bradley on Saturday.
Mississippi State goes on the road to face Virginia on Friday.