No. 11 Mississippi State faces its biggest test of the season Thursday night when it travels to Columbia for an important SEC showdown against second-ranked South Carolina.
Tip for the contest is set for 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Net South with Tom Werme and Brittany Jackson on the call.
Fans can also listen to the radio broadcast in the Golden Triangle on WKBB-FM 100.9 and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3. HailStatePLUS subscribers can access the live audio stream on www.hailstate.com.
State enters Thursday’s game in a two-way tie with Texas A&M for third place in the league. If the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament began today, the Bulldogs would be the third seed in next week’s event in Little Rock.
Mississippi State brings a 25-4 overall record and 10-4 SEC mark into Thursday’s showdown. The 25 wins is a new school record, while the Dawgs’ league tally is tied for the program’s best.
The Bulldogs set the mark with a 57-55 road win at Alabama on Sunday. Freshman Victoria Vivians earned her fourth SEC Freshman of the Week nod after scoring 14 points in that contest.
On the season, Vivians leads SEC freshmen in scoring with 14.9 ppg. She is tied with South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson for the freshman points lead in SEC play at 13.5 ppg.
Vivians has been lighting up the competition of late, averaging 17.0 ppg the last five games and 18.4 ppg against ranked opponents this season.
Senior Martha Alwal has also been outstanding down the stretch for MSU, averaging 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks since joining the starting lineup at Ole Miss eight games ago.
Alwal tallies 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest this season, but in SEC play she has upped her production to 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. The Worthington, Minn., native also tops the SEC in blocks, swatting 2.4 overall and 2.2 in conference action.
Coach Vic Schaefer’s squad looks to upset a South Carolina squad that improved to 26-1 overall and 14-0 in SEC play following a 71-66 win against No. 6 Tennessee Monday night at Colonial Life Arena.
The Gamecocks have won four straight since suffering their first setback of the season at Connecticut on Feb. 9.
Tiffany Mitchell paces South Carolina with 15.0 ppg while Wilson follows with a 13.7 average.
Alaina Coates, who scores at a 10.8 clip, tops the Gamecocks on the boards with 8.2 per contest.
The Bulldogs stay on Fox Sports Net South Sunday when they close the regular season at home against rival Ole Miss.
Tip for that contest is set for 1 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum. Fans are encouraged to wear black, and the first 250 receive a free limited edition T-shirt while the first 2,500 get free glow sticks.
Prior to Sunday’s tip, Mississippi State will honor seniors Alwal, Kendra Grant, Jerica James and Savannah Carter.
(From MSU Media Relations)