Mississippi Valley State preview

Sherise Williams is the lone senior on the Bulldogs roster. (Lee Adams/ Special to the Daily Journal)

Sherise Williams is the lone senior on the Bulldogs roster. (Lee Adams/ Special to the Daily Journal)

Mississippi State women’s basketball added another piece of history Monday, being ranked No. 8 in the new Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

The highest ranking in program history comes on the eve of the Bulldogs hosting Mississippi Valley State Tuesday in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.

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.

Tuesday’s game will be available online or via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +. The contest will also be broadcast in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas on WNMQ-FM 103.1.

Vic Schaefer’s Bulldogs earned the historic ranking and their 21st-straight week in the poll after claiming wins against Samford and Grambling to start the year 2-0.

“I’m extremely proud. Not only is our team being recognized, but people across the country are starting to recognize the program we have been able to build here from an attendance standpoint to the type of staff we have,” Schaefer said of the historic ranking. “I want my players to understand the expectations people have for us and live it. I’m proud and excited, but I want to be No. 8 in March in addition to November and December.”

Sophomore Victoria Vivians leads the Bulldogs with 15.0 ppg after scoring 22 points in Saturday’s 107-43 win against Grambling. The Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 Watch List candidate scored 21 of those points in the second half on 8 of 8 shooting, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range.

Freshman Teaira McCowan claimed her first collegiate double-double, tallying 21 points to go with 11 rebounds. McCowan, who leads the SEC with 6.0 offensive rebounds per game, is second on the squad in both points (11.5 ppg) and rebounds (7.0 rpg).

Junior Chinwe Okorie tops MSU on the boards, hauling down an SEC ninth-most 8.0 per game. Okorie, who claimed her second-career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday, is tied for second behind McCowan on the offensive glass, claiming 5.0 per contest.

Saturday’s 64-point win was MSU’s seventh-straight victory at home. The Bulldogs have also won 22 of their last 24 games at Humphrey Coliseum.

The contest against MVSU (0-3) is the third of a season-opening five-game homestand for Mississippi State.

Ashley Beals paces the Delta Devilettes in nearly every statistical category, including points (12.0 ppg), rebounds (10.0 rpg), blocks (0.7 bpg) and steals (2.0 spg).

Following Tuesday’s contest, the Bulldogs host Norfolk State at 6 p.m. Friday and Savannah State at 2 p.m. Sunday before hitting the road on Dec. 2 for a Top 10 showdown against a Texas squad that is tied with MSU at No. 8 in this week’s poll.

Mississippi State is one of four SEC teams ranked in the Top 10. South Carolina and Tennessee stayed at Nos. 2 and 4, respectively, while Texas A&M climbed two spots to 10th and Kentucky one place to No. 12.

Associated Press Poll – November 23, 2015

Rank School Record Pts. Pvs.
1 UConn (32) 1-0 800 1
2 South Carolina 4-0 759 2
3 Notre Dame 3-0 722 3
4 Tennessee 3-0 702 4
5 Baylor 4-0 685 5
6 Maryland 3-0 609 8
7 Oregon State 3-0 585 9
8 Mississippi State 2-0 527 10
8 Texas 3-0 527 11
10 Texas A&M 4-0 520 12
11 Ohio State 2-2 452 7
12 Kentucky 4-0 439 13
13 Stanford 3-0 433 15
14 Florida State 2-1 378 6
15 Duke 3-1 341 14
16 Arizona State 1-1 268 18
16 California 4-0 268 21
18 South Florida 2-1 257 19
19 Northwestern 3-0 251 20
20 Michigan State 3-0 164 24
21 Oklahoma 3-1 114 17
22 Louisville 0-2 108 16
23 Syracuse 1-1 103 25
24 George Washington 2-1 83 22
25 Iowa 4-0 74 NR

Others receiving votes: DePaul 58, Seton Hall 58, UCLA 41, Dayton 11, Princeton 11, Arkansas 8, Nebraska 8, Oklahoma State 6, Florida 6, Missouri 5, Oregon 4, NC State 4, Western Kentucky 4, Penn State 3, Miami 1, Washington 1.

(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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