Georgia preview

Blair Schaefer has appeared in all 15 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Blair Schaefer has appeared in all 15 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Following a perfect run through non-conference play, the No. 17/18 Mississippi State women’s basketball team begins SEC action Friday as it hosts No. 19 Georgia Friday afternoon.

Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. online and via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +. Tickets for the Top-20 showdown are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. MSU students also get in free with a valid student ID.

Prior to the contest, fans can enjoy games and inflatables in Bully’s Kidz Kourt located inside the Mize Pavilion practice gym.

In addition to the SEC Network + broadcast, fans unable to get to the Hump can listen in the Golden Triangle area on WKBB-FM 100.9 and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3. HailStatePLUS subscribers can also listen to the live audio steam.

Friday’s contest is the opening half of a hoops doubleheader. The Bulldog men’s team hosts Florida State in a 7 p.m. tilt on ESPNU.

State enters Friday’s SEC opener one of four unbeaten teams in the nation after wrapping the non-conference slate 15-0 with an 83-26 win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday.

The 15-straight victories mark the best start and longest win streak in school history.

Vic Schaefer’s squad opens SEC play on the home court for just the fourth time in the last 16 seasons.

Friday’s contest pits an MSU squad that tops the SEC and rates eighth nationally in scoring (84.7 ppg) against a UGA unit that is fifth in scoring defense (49.6 ppg).

Despite being one of the nation’s best offenses, Mississippi State has been outstanding defensively, holding 10 of its last 11 opponents below 60 points. During that stretch, State limited opponents to 29.7 percent from the field, including a school-record 15.3 percent to UAPB on Monday.

Freshman Victoria Vivians paces the Bulldogs with a 16.3 scoring average that is third in the SEC and sixth highest among freshmen nationally. The Carthage native had 16 points and finished a rebound shy of a double-double Monday against UAPB. Vivians has scored double figures in all but two games, and added five games of 20-plus points.

Sophomore Breanna Richardson followed Vivians with 14 points and eight boards against the Golden Lions. Richardson, a Conyers, Ga., native, enters the contest against her home state school averaging 13.0 ppg and shooting 44 percent from the field the last two games.

Richardson’s 7.7 scoring clip follows freshman Morgan William (10.9 ppg) and sophomore Ketara Chapel (7.9 ppg).

Senior Kendra Grant was also solid to wrap non-conference play, averaging 10.7 ppg the last three contests following a 12-point effort on Monday. During that stretch the Richland, Miss., native, who averages 5.8 ppg, is shooting 56.5 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from 3-point range.

Mississippi State seeks to even the series with Georgia in Starkville at 10 wins apiece. MSU has won the last two meetings at the Hump, including an 80-67 triumph last season.

UGA comes to Starkville 12-1 following a 70-51 road setback to Seton Hall on Sunday.

Shacobia Barbee paces the Athens-based Bulldogs with 13.0 ppg, but she was limited to just two points in Sunday’s loss.

Krista Donald tops the Lady Bulldogs on the boards, hauling down 7.6 per contest.

(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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