STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Freshman Victoria Vivians scored 26 points and sophomore Ketara Chapel had 19 with 11 rebounds, all career-highs, as Mississippi State upended No. 17 West Virginia 74-61 in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs (3-0) forced 24 turnovers by the Mountaineers (2-1) to offset a 15 of 26 effort at the free throw line.
Averee Fields had 22 points and Bria Holmes 18 for West Virginia, which shot better than Mississippi State from the field and made 12 of 13 free throws.
Holmes made a 3-pointer at 16:21 of the second half to pull West Virginia within 42-41 but Vivians quickly answered with a short jumper that started a 15-0 run. Chapel had eight points in the run, including the last six.
West Virginia got back within eight with 5:49 left but Vivians had back-to-back 3-pointers to secure the win.