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Former MSU hoops coach Schaefer enjoys successful return

JACKSON, Miss. — Former Mississippi State women’s head basketball coach Vic Schaefer’s return to the Magnolia State was a successful one Wednesday afternoon.

Schaefer, in his third season at the helm of the University of Texas Lady Longhorns after leaving Starkville for Austin, and his Texas team knocked off Jackson State 75-57 at the Mississippi Coliseum in an afternoon matinee contest.

Sonya Morris scored 16 points and Khadija Fave posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win for the Longhorns. Rori Harmon chipped in 12 points and added six assists and six rebounds to the winning effort, while Shaylee Gonzales added 10 points for her fourth straight game scoring in double figures for Texas.

The Longhorns scored 10 of the first 12 points of the game with Morris scoring six of the 10 points. Meanwhile, Texas held Jackson State to zero field goals in the first quarter and led 16-5 after the opening period.

Already leading 33-17 at the half, Texas outscored Jackson State 24-12 in the third quarter to end any JSU hopes of a comeback and take a commanding 57-29 lead entering the final frame and then coasted to the win.

Schaefer, a former two-time National Coach of the Year during his days at Mississippi State, is a native of Texas.

Photos courtesy of Texas Women’s Basketball

Before coming to Texas, Schaefer spent eight seasons as the head coach at Mississippi State (2011-20), where he led the Bulldogs to a 221-62 record and five NCAA Tournament berths, including two NCAA Championship Game appearances. Under his direction, Mississippi State won the program’s first SEC regular-season championship and SEC Tournament championship and made five consecutive appearances in the SEC Tournament Championship Game, tying the University of Tennessee’s record for consecutive tournament final appearances.

As a head or assistant coach, Schaefer has now been a part of one NCAA Championship, three NCAA Championship Games, four Final Fours, seven Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s.

Schaefer’s last seven teams at Mississippi State won 20 or more games, including 30-win campaigns in three of the last four years. Under his leadership, the Bulldogs posted a school record for victories each season from 2014-18, capped by a nation-best 37-2 mark during the 2017-18 run to the NCAA Championship Game.

In 2019, Schaefer was the SEC Coach of the Year and the espnW National Coach of the Year. In 2018, he was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year and earned the same accolade from the USBWA, WBCA and College Sports Madness, in addition to being selected as the SEC Coach of the Year.

During his time in Starkville, Schaefer mentored a pair of All-Americans in Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians, who finished their careers as two of the most decorated players in program history. McCowan was the 2019 SEC Player of the Year and a two-time WBCA All-American. Vivians was a 2018 Associated Press All-American and won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the nation’s top shooting guard that same year.

Jackson State was led by Ti’lan Bolan with a game-high 24 points. Former St. Martin High All-State standout Daphne White is one of the first reserves off the bench in the post for the Lady Tigers of head coach Tomekia Reed, which also has former Stone High player Haleigh Breland and former Harrison Central product Laila Walker on the JSU roster.

Jackson State (2-6)  continues a very strong pre-conference schedule with a trip to Washington State on Saturday. In addition to Texas, the Lady Tigers have also faced North Carolina, Colorado, Texas Tech UCLA, Oregon State and Missouri during the first five weeks of the current campaign.

Up next Texas (6-4) will take on Southern California in Dallas at the American Airlines Center on Sunday, Dec. 18.

The game turned out to be the front end of a college basketball doubleheader as Wednesday night the Jackson State men hosted unbeaten Mississippi State. The JSU-Texas women’s game was originally slated to be played at the Williams Athletic Center on the JSU campus but was moved to the Mississippi Coliseum after weather conditions affected the Lady Tigers’ home court


Written by Curtis Rockwell

Curtis has almost three decades of experience at four different daily newspapers across South Mississippi, specializing in Sports and live Music.


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