Louisiana Tech preview

Kayla Nevitt is averaging 4.6 points and 12.3 minutes a game as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Kayla Nevitt is averaging 4.6 points and 12.3 minutes a game as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

No. 22 Mississippi State looks for a strong finish to a three-game homestand Thursday when it faces Louisiana Tech in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.

Tickets for the contest are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. MSU students also receive free admission with a valid student ID.

The contest will be broadcast live online and via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +, with Bart Gregory and Charlie Winfield on the call. Radio for the game will be available on WKBB-FM 100.9, WXWX-FM 96.3 and online for HailStatePLUS subscribers.

Bully’s Kidz Kourt opens one hour prior to tip and offers inflatables and games for children. Free pizza will be available for students while supplies last.

Vic Schaefer’s squad brings an 8-0 record, the best start since 2008-09, into Thursday’s game. MSU jumped to No. 22 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls after defeating North Dakota State 109-58 and Southeastern Louisiana 97-36 last week.

“We have a veteran Louisiana Tech team coming in that has five seniors in the starting lineup. They will be well-coached,” Schaefer said. “Tyler Summitt is their new coach, and he has a very trusted, veteran assistant in Mickie DeMoss who has been around many, many years. We will have to be ready, and expect a great ballgame.

“You never know this time of year with everything going on and all the distractions of finals how you will play, but I’m glad we are at home. We have played well to date, so I’m looking forward to playing again.”

The Bulldogs enter Thursday tops in the SEC and fourth in the nation with a 90.4 scoring average.

Mississippi State leads the nation in offensive rebounds (22.1 rpg) and 3-point field goal defense (20.0 percent) while rating fifth in scoring margin (+31.4) and eighth in turnover margin (+9.3).

Freshman Victoria Vivians has sparked the Bulldogs with a 17.6 scoring average that leads the conference and is second highest among freshmen in Division I.

Fellow rookie Morgan William joins her in double figures at 13.5 ppg. William boasts the SEC’s third-highest free-throw percentage at 82.1 percent while standing third in steals (2.8 spg) and fourth in assists (4.8 apg).

Against SLU, senior Martha Alwal claimed season highs with 15 points and 11 rebounds to register the 32nd double-double of her career, the most among active SEC players.

Alwal is also the league’s active leader in career blocks (262) and rebounds (843). Her blocks tally is second-most among current Division I players.

Thursday’s contest will be the 14th against Louisiana Tech, with MSU trying to even the series. State owns a 4-2 edge in Starkville.

The Bulldogs are seeking a second-straight win against Louisiana Tech after winning a 57-55 contest in 2012, Schaefer’s first season at the helm.

Louisiana Tech is 3-3 this season under first-year coach Tyler Summitt, the son of legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

The Lady Techsters are coming off a 75-61 win against Loyola-New Orleans in their home opener. Whitney Frazier had 21 points in that contest to boost her season average to a team-best 14.3 ppg.

Frazier also tops LA Tech on the boards with 7.3 per contest.

Following Thursday’s game, MSU heads to Southern Miss Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest on American Sports Network. The Bulldogs return home Monday to welcome Santa Claus and Mississippi Valley State to the Hump for a 7p.m. tip.

(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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