Grambling preview

Breanna Richardson scored six points and had three rebounds in Mississippi State's season opener. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Breanna Richardson scored six points and had three rebounds in Mississippi State’s season opener. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No. 10 Mississippi State plays its first game since the Nov. 13 season opener on Saturday when Grambling visits Humphrey Coliseum for a 1 p.m. tip.

Tickets for the contest cost $5 for adults, while admission is free for youth high school age and under. MSU students also get in free with a valid student ID, and free pizza will be available for students while supplies last.

Fans can arrive early and enjoy fun and games at Bully’s Kidz Kourt, located in Mize Pavilion.

Saturday’s game will be available online or via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +. The contest will also be broadcast on WKBB-FM 100.9 in the Golden Triangle area, WXWX-FM 96.3 in Tupelo and WKCU-FM 92.9 and WKCU-AM 1350 in Corinth.

Mississippi State, under the direction of reigning SEC Coach of the Year Vic Schaefer, earned its second Top 10 ranking in program history following a 68-47 win against Samford in last Friday’s season opener.

The Bulldogs also moved up to No. 11 in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll.

Junior Dominique Dillingham paced the Bulldogs, notching her first double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Jazzmun Holmes had a stellar debut for MSU, tallying 12 points to go with an SEC-leading five steals.

Sophomore Victoria Vivians, who was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 Watch List, scored eight points against Samford despite missing most of the first half with foul trouble.

State continued to play outstanding defense, forcing 28 Samford miscues to put the Bulldogs atop the league in turnover margin for the second-straight season.

The strong defensive effort helped MSU overcome a difficult offensive night in which the Bulldogs shot 32.5 percent from the floor.

“This was a big week for us. We have to get better,” Schaefer said of the eight days between games. “I think we have a long way to go. I was glad to play Samford because I thought they presented different problems for you than most openers. They were well coached, and they did some things that I think showed our kids in film that we have some things to work on.

“Shooting has been a focus for our kids this week — finishing layups, driving to the basket, those kinds of things. It’s been a good week. (Grambling is) coming off a trip where they lost to William & Mary and a really good George Washington team. In both games they played both teams very well. They have a three/four player (Yosha Washington) who is a really athletic senior. It is always a concern anytime you go against a senior who is leading the team in scoring. They are well coached, and, again, I am glad to be playing someone on Saturday instead of practicing.”

Mississippi State will seek to continue to be dominant on the Humphrey Coliseum court. Last Friday’s victory was the Bulldogs’ sixth-straight and 21st in their last 23 at home going back to the 2013-14 campaign.

Likewise, MSU has also been solid in non-conference contests, winning 22-straight in the regular season the last two years.

Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting against Grambling. MSU has won the last three showdowns, all coming in Starkville.

This year’s Grambling squad heads to the Hump 1-2 on the year. The Tigers defeated LSU-Alexandria 106-50 on Wednesday after opening the year with a 74-55 setback at William & Mary and an 85-58 loss at George Washington.

Washington paces Grambling with 15.7 points per game. She also pulls down 6.7 rebounds per game, second behind Chantiara Lewis’ 7.3 average.

(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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