No matter the sport, anytime Mississippi State and Ole Miss meet there is added excitement placed on the game by players and fans alike.
Factor in the final home game for four Bulldog seniors and it is a formula full of emotions. Such will be the case when the two instate rivals meet for the second time this season inside Humphrey Coliseum.
“I don’t think I can temper any of the emotion that will be in the game,” said MSU coach Vic Schaefer. “I think it will speak for itself. I think with our fans the Hump will be electric and lit. I think it’ll be a tremendous atmosphere. We’re obviously playing for a lot but you can throw a lot out the window with just the fact that it’s Mississippi State and Ole Miss playing, that speaks for itself.”
Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.
State will not only be bidding farewell to seniors Martha Alwal, Kendra Grant, Jerica James and Savannah Carter for the final time at home but is also jockeying for positioning in next week’s SEC Tournament as well as seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
At 25-5 overall and 10-5 inside the league, the 11th-ranked Bulldogs are currently third in the conference and would receive a first round by in Little Rock next week.
Ole Miss (17-11, 7-8) has made strides of its own of late. The Rebels have won three straight including home upsets over Kentucky 67-59 and LSU 58-57.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt Ole Miss is playing its best basketball,” Schaefer said. “They’re really playing well. They’re coming off of two great wins over Kentucky and LSU. We’re catching them at their best time of the year.”
It will be the second time the two teams have met this season. The Bulldogs claimed a 64-62 overtime victory in Oxford on Jan. 22 when Morgan William knocked down the game-winner with a step back jumper with only three seconds remaining.
“We have a good basketball team, Mississippi State has a good team,” said Ole Miss coach Matt Insell. “Coach Vic does a great job with his team. There are going to be a lot of battles like that.”
Breanna Richardson scored 16 points in the previous contest to lead MSU while A’Queen Hayes topped the Rebels with 12.
The last three games in the series have all went to overtime. The Rebels lead the all-time series 63-25 and 24-14 in Starkville. Mississippi State has won eight of the last 11 overall.
Victoria Vivians paces the Bulldogs and all SEC freshmen with 14.9 points per game while senior forward Tia Faleru leads Ole Miss averaging 14.7 points.