Auburn preview

Kayla Nevitt is averaging 3.5 points in 15 games as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Kayla Nevitt is averaging 3.5 points in 15 games as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

No. 18/20 Mississippi State looks to build on the momentum of back-to-back wins against Alabama and rival Ole Miss when it heads to Auburn for a Monday night showdown against the Tigers.

Tip for the contest is set for 8 p.m. with Brenda VanLengen and Debbie Antonelli calling the action to a national audience on the SEC Network.

Fans can also listen to the radio broadcast with Jason Crowder and Charlie Winfield on WKBB-FM 100.9 in the Golden Triangle and WXWX-FM 96.3 in Tupelo. HailStatePLUS subscribers can access the live audio stream at www.hailstate.com.

Vic Schaefer’s squad heads to Auburn 20-2 overall, 5-2 in league play following a thrilling 64-62 road win against rival Ole Miss in Oxford Thursday. Freshman Morgan William gave State the road victory with her step-back jumper with four seconds remaining.

MSU’s 20 wins are the sixth-most in school history, and the Bulldogs secured 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history. State’s league mark is the best in 15 seasons.

William’s winning basket was part of a 14-point night for the rookie, her best SEC scoring performance of the season. It raised her season average to 10.1 points, second on the team behind fellow freshman Victoria Vivians’ 14.0 average.

Vivians, who tallied 10 points Thursday, rates seventh in the SEC in scoring and first among freshmen in the league.

In her first start of the year, senior Martha Alwal tallied her best SEC performance of the season as she matched William with 14 points. Alwal also swatted two shots to move to 295 for her career, two back of sixth place in SEC history.

Sophomore Breanna Richardson led Mississippi State with her second 16-point performance of the SEC campaign. The Conyers, Ga., native is third on the team with 8.6 ppg this season, but she leads the squad in SEC play with a 10.4 average.

Richardson also tops the Dawgs on the boards with 6.0 per game, including a 7.0 average in conference action.

State looks to continue the stellar defense that has held the last two foes below 36 percent from the field. MSU kept the Rebels to 35.9 percent after Alabama shot 30.2 percent last Sunday.

MSU allows 35.0 percent shooting from the floor, fourth lowest in the SEC and 21st in the nation. That tally includes a 20.7 percent 3-point defense that is lowest in the nation.

The Bulldogs meet an Auburn squad that is 9-10 overall and 0-6 in league play following a 51-50 setback at Alabama on Thursday.

Tra’Cee Tanner paces Auburn in scoring with 12.6 ppg to go with 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Tanner’s 12.3 average in SEC play rates right behind Hasina Muhammad’s 13.2 ppg for tops on the squad.

Muhammad will miss Monday’s game and the following contest after being ejected in Thursday’s setback at Alabama.

Following Monday’s showdown, MSU returns to Humphrey Coliseum Thursday to close the opening month of conference play against Vanderbilt.

Tip for that contest is set for 7 p.m. on SEC Network +.

(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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