Florida preview

Blair Schaefer has appeared in 19 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Blair Schaefer has appeared in 19 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

No. 13/15 Mississippi State contributes to the fight against breast cancer Sunday as it returns to Humphrey Coliseum to host Florida in a key Southeastern Conference showdown.

Tip is set for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network, with Fran Harris and Nell Fortner on the call. The contest can also be watched online and on mobile devices via WatchESPN.

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.

Tickets for Sunday’s game are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and under. MSU students get in free with a valid student ID and receive free pizza while supplies last.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support the fight against breast cancer. The first 500 in attendance receive a free T-shirt.

The Bulldogs return home looking to bounce back from a tough 92-90 double-overtime setback at No. 10 Kentucky on Thursday.

The heart-breaking defeat puts MSU at 23-4 overall and in a tie with LSU for fourth in the league at 8-4.

State’s 23 victories are the second-most in school history, one back of the top mark set by the 1999-00 and 2002-03 squads.

Freshman Victoria Vivians paced Vic Schaefer‘s squad in Lexington, scoring an MSU freshman record 39 points. The tally tied for the 11th-most in school history while equaling the best effort by a freshman in the nation this season.

Vivians, who is scoring at a 20.0 clip the last five games, raised her season average to a team-high and SEC third-best 15.1 ppg. The Carthage native leads SEC freshmen in scoring both overall and in league play (13.8 ppg).

Fellow rookie Morgan William, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, follows Vivians with 9.6 ppg after averaging 14.0 points the last two games.

The Birmingham, Ala., native tallied 13 points at Kentucky after registering her SEC high with 15 against Texas A&M.

William has been outstanding at the free-throw line, knocking down her opportunities at an 84.1-percent clip that is third in the SEC and fourth highest by a freshman in the nation.

Senior Martha Alwal followed a double-double effort (16 points, 10 rebounds) against Texas A&M with a season-high 21 points at Kentucky. Alwal, the SEC’s leading shot blocker at 2.4 per game, is second on the team with 9.6 ppg, but she has stepped up her game in league play with a 10.9 average.

Alwal also paces MSU on the boards with 6.1 per game, just ahead of sophomore Breanna Richardson’s 5.9 average. Richardson joins Vivians and Alwal in double figures in conference action, knocking down 10.1 ppg.

Mississippi State seeks to snap a nine-game Florida win streak in the series. The Gators lead the overall meetings 25-18, but the Bulldogs hold an 11-8 advantage in Starkville.

This year’s Florida squad comes to the Hump 12-12 overall and 4-7 in SEC play following a 51-48 upset of No. 24 Georgia in Athens on Thursday.

Cassie Peoples, who averages 9.5 ppg this season, paced UF to the win with 11 points.

Ronni Williams tops the Gators with 9.7 ppg this season, but she is averaging 10.2 ppg in SEC play.

Kayla Lewis has been Florida’s top scorer and rebounder in league play, contributing 10.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.

MSU returns to action a week from Sunday when it heads to Alabama for a 2 p.m. tip online on the 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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