Western Kentucky preview

Blair Schaefer is the daughter of MSU head coach Vic Schaefer. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Blair Schaefer is the daughter of MSU head coach Vic Schaefer. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Mississippi State has the chance to hoist some early-season hardware when it hosts Western Kentucky Sunday afternoon in the Preseason WNIT championship game.

Tip for the contest at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 2 p.m., with the game being broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The game can also be heard in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas on WKBB-FM 100.9 and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3. HailStatePLUS subscribers can also access a free audio stream of the contest.

Tickets are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. MSU students also get in free with a valid student ID. Free pizza will be available for students while supplies last.

Children can enjoy games and inflatables prior to the contest in Bully’s Kidz Kourt.

Vic Schaefer’s 3-0 Bulldogs advanced to the title game with a thrilling 74-61 upset of No. 16 West Virginia Thursday night.

Freshman sensation Victoria Vivians led the way with 26 points, the best performance by an SEC rookie behind teammate Morgan William’s 29-point showing against Arkansas State last Sunday.

Vivians raised her average to 20.3 ppg, the third highest in the SEC and the best by a league freshman.

The Carthage native sparked the Bulldogs Thursday, netting 22 of her 26 in the second half, the best single-half performance since Alexis Rack also had 22 against Maryland in 2009.

William sparked MSU defensively with five steals against WVU. The Birmingham native, who is eighth in the league with 16.7 ppg, is tied for the SEC lead in steals with 3.3 per contest.

Sophomore Ketara Chapel has also been stellar for the Bulldogs, averaging 11.0 points to go with 7.0 rebounds per game. The Temple, Texas, product had a career night against the Mountaineers, recording career highs for points (19) and rebounds (11) to claim her first-career double-double.

Mississippi State faces a tough challenge in a Western Kentucky squad that also boasts a 3-0 record after knocking off Albany 63-54 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

The Lady Toppers average 78.3 ppg, with four of their five starters scoring in double figures.

Senior Chastity Gooch leads the way with 19.3 ppg. Sophomore Kendall Noble averages a double-double, claiming a team-high 12.0 rpg to go with a 12.7 scoring average.

Sunday’s contest will be the second meeting between the squads and the first in Starkville. WKU won the inaugural meeting 56-53 in the 2007 Postseason WNIT.

(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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