Mercer preview

Breanna Richardson was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team last season. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Breanna Richardson was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team last season. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Mississippi State officially begins its 41st season of women’s basketball Friday, hosting Mercer in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT.

The contest is the second half of a doubleheader with the Bulldog men’s squad. Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 8 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opening game.

Friday’s game will be broadcast online and via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +, with Derek Cody and Bart Gregory on the call.

Jason Crowder and Anthony Craven will have the radio call in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas on WKBB-FM 100.9 and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3.

Tickets for the contest are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. Women’s basketball tickets will be scanned beginning at halftime of the men’s contest.

Students can get free pizza prior to the game while also having a chance to win an iPad.

Vic Schaefer’s third Bulldog edition opened the year with a resounding 114-58 exhibition victory against Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Freshman Victoria Vivians paced Mississippi State with 20 points. Fellow rookies Blair Schaefer and Morgan William also had stellar debuts, netting 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Junior Sherise Williams had an outstanding showing in the post, scoring 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

MSU distributed the offense, with 11 different players scoring five of more points.

This year’s Bulldogs return nearly 90 percent of their offensive production and 84 percent of the rebounding from last year’s squad that went 22-14 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.

Mississippi State has won its last 10 season openers and 28-straight home debuts. The Bulldogs and Mercer have met four times, with the teams splitting the contests.

Mercer returns three starters from last year’s squad, including top scorers Precious Bridges (14.8 ppg) and Briana Williams (12.8 ppg). The duo scored 17 each in a 73-65 exhibition win against Emmanuel, while Kahlia Lawrence, one of eight newcomers, tallied a team-high 18 points.

Following Friday’s game, the Bulldogs stay home Sunday for a second-round game starting at 6 p.m.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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