In a clash of Top 20 foes, No. 17/19 Mississippi State looks to for an important Southeastern Conference win against No. 14/13 Texas A&M Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
Tip for the showdown is set for 2 p.m. on the SEC Network. Fans can 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 have access to the live audio stream at www.hailstate.com.
Sunday’s contest will also be carried live nationally on Sirius channel 92 and XM channel 190.
Tickets for the matchup are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. MSU students get in free with a valid student ID, and free pizza will be available for students while supplies last.
Sunday’s game will be a “True Maroon” contest, with fans encouraged to wear Maroon. The contest will also feature a special halftime performance by The Kings of the Court, the acrobatic dunk team of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Bulldogs enter Sunday’s tilt tied for third in the SEC standings with a 22-3 overall record and 7-3 SEC mark. After enjoying its first midweek bye of the conference schedule, MSU enters Sunday a half-game ahead of the Aggies.
State is coming off a 79-67 setback at No. 6 Tennessee last Sunday that halted a four-game league win streak. Victoria Vivians paced the Maroon and White with 17 points while Breanna Richardson added 13.
Vivians ranks fifth in the conference in scoring with 14.6 points an outing, the best average among league freshmen. Her 12.1 clip in SEC play is tied for the highest rookie average.
Last Sunday’s effort was Vivians’ fourth-straight game in double figures. The Carthage, Miss. native is averaging 18.7 points in her last three games. Fellow rookie Morgan William is second on the team with a 9.2 scoring clip and leads the squad with 3.6 assists per game.
Richardson, who averages 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in SEC play, and senior Martha Alwal have tallied 12.5 and 12.8 ppg, respectively, the last four outings.
Alwal, the SEC leader with 2.4 blocks per game, enters Sunday needing two rebounds to tie Sharon Thompson for the second-most career rebounds in school history.
Alwal will try to match Thompson against a Texas A&M (18-5, 6-3) squad that claimed back-to-back wins against Auburn and Missouri last week.
Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams pace the Aggies’ scoring attack. Walker’s 14.4 average tops the squad and is fifth in the SEC. Walker follows right behind at 14.2 ppg.
Achiri Ade tops Texas A&M on the boards with 8.3 an outing.
Sunday marks the third matchup between MSU’s Vic Schaefer and A&M’s Gary Blair. Schaefer, a 1984 graduate of Texas A&M, served nine seasons on Blair’s staff in College Station after spending the previous six with him at Arkansas.
MSU associate head coach Johnnie Harris also served on the Texas A&M staff, while assistant coach Aqua Franklins, director of operations Maryann Baker and director of scouting/video coordinator Skylar Collins all played for the Aggies.
Texas A&M holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series against MSU, but Sunday’s contest will be just the second meeting in Starkville.
It also pits the nation’s top 3-point defensive teams against each other. The Bulldogs hold foes to a national-low 21.7 percent, a mark that rates just ahead of the Aggies’ 23 percent.
The game is the second of three straight against Top 15 foes. Mississippi State continues the stretch Thursday as it travels to Lexington to face No. 11/12 Kentucky at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.
(From MSU Media Relations)