Vivians chosen SEC Player of the Week

Victoria Vivians
Special Reports
For Starkville Daily News

A sensational week that helped lead No. 3 Mississippi State to an 8-0 start to the season has earned Bulldog senior guard Victoria Vivians Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors.

That accolade came as Mississippi State remained No. 3 in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll, its 58th-straight week in poll.

Vivians averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals as MSU knocked off Louisiana and Oklahoma State to open the season with eight-straight wins for the second-straight year and third time in the last four seasons.

She was efficient from the field this week, knocking down 48.4 percent of her field goal attempts while hitting 14-of-15 free throws (93.3 percent).

"She's just a competitor and loves playing the game of basketball," State coach Vic Schaefer said.

The Carthage native opened the week by returning to the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson for the first time since winning two high school state championships there. She tallied 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals as the Bulldogs defeated Louisiana 94-37.

She capped the week by scoring 30 points, her fourth-career 30-point game, as the Bulldogs held off Oklahoma State 79-76 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Vivians was stellar in the contest, hitting 55 percent from the field and knocking down all seven free-throw attempts while grabbing eight rebounds and notching a pair of assists and three steals.

Vivians scored 17 of her 30 points in the second half, going 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-5 at the stripe. She also collected six of her rebounds the final 20 minutes.

The week also saw Vivians eclipse another milestone as she passed 1,900 points for her career. Her 1,913 points stands tops among current SEC players and third nationally. She is on pace to become just the third 2,000-point scorer in program history, joining former MSU greats LaToya Thomas and Tan White.

Vivians is off to the best start of her career, averaging an SEC third-best 19.9 points per game and shooting 51.9 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from 3-point range and 84.2 percent from the line. She’s also grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game to go with 2.1 assists and two steals per game.

Vivians’ selection gives the Bulldogs two of the last three player of the week honors. Teaira McCowan earned the accolade Nov. 21 following wins against Georgia State and Southern Miss.

MSU also swept the weekly accolade in men’s and women’s basketball, as Tyson Carter claimed the honor for the men on Monday.

Vivians and the Bulldogs return to Humphrey Coliseum Sunday, hosting Little Rock at 2 p.m. The game will be Morgan William Day. A life-size cutout of the Bulldog point guard will be displayed outside Bully’s Kidz Kourt in Mize Pavilion, and fans shorter than “Itty Bitty” will get free admission to the contest.