Tennessee State preview

Teaira McCowan is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week and is averaging 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Teaira McCowan is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week and is averaging 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Ninth-ranked Mississippi State returns to the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum Sunday afternoon as the Bulldogs host Tennessee State at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the game cost $5 for adults, while MSU students and youth high school age and under get in free.

Mississippi State students can take a break from studying for final exams and get free pizza and a free MSU tacky Christmas T-shirt while supplies last.

The contest will be available online and via the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +. Fans will also be able to listen in the Golden Triangle on WKBB-FM 100.9, WXWX-FM 96.3 in Tupelo, and WKCU-FM 92.9 and WKCU-AM 1350 in Corinth.

Doors open at 1 p.m., and fans can arrive early and enjoy inflatables and other games in Bully’s Kidz Kourt, located in Mize Pavilion.

Fans can also get special experiences through Maroon Memories. A list of available memories can be found at www.hailstate.com/memories.

Mississippi State returns home looking to bounce back from a tough 53-47 setback at No. 6 Texas on Wednesday. That loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-1 on the season and snapped a 26-game win streak in regular-season non-conference contests.

MSU looks to continue a run of 10-straight wins at Humphrey Coliseum, however, the second-longest active streak in the SEC. State has won 25 of its last 27 home games going back to 2013-14, helping give the Maroon and White a 50-11 overall record, and 35-2 non-conference mark, at the Hump under Vic Schaefer.

The Bulldogs turned in a stellar defensive effort in Austin, holding the Longhorns to season lows in points (53), field goals (18), field goal percentage (39.1 percent) and 3-pointers (2).  State also forced Texas into a season-high 23 turnovers.

MSU continues to be one of the nation’s top defensive teams, topping the nation in scoring defense (39.8 ppg), scoring margin (+46.0) and turnover margin (+16.0).

Offensively, sophomore Victoria Vivians paces the Bulldogs with an SEC sixth-best 17.2 ppg. The First Team Preseason All-SEC selection scored a team-high 12 points at Texas, giving her a 17.3 career scoring average against ranked teams and five-straight games in double figures.

This week, Vivians was named to the watch list for the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year Award. That recognition came after she was selected to the John R. Wooden Award Watch List earlier in the season.

Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Teaira McCowan is the other Bulldog averaging double figures, scoring 12.0 ppg while leading MSU with an SEC eighth-most 8.5 rebounds per game.

The Brenham, Texas, native also ranks fourth in the SEC in blocks, swatting 2.0 per game for a Bulldog squad that is second with 6.5 per game.

While MSU’s defense has been good at forcing turnovers, the offense has been one of the nation’s best at taking care of the ball. Sophomore Morgan William tops the SEC and rates fourth nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 5.3. Freshman Jazzmun Holmes follows right behind with a 5.3 ratio that stands second in the SEC and sixth in the country.

The Bulldogs will look to turn up the defensive pressure on a Tennessee State team that averages 19 turnovers per game.

TSU comes to Starkville having won three-straight games to improve to 4-3 on the season.

The Lady Tigers, coming off a 75-44 win against Lane College on Tuesday, have three players averaging double figures, paced by Jayda Johnson’s 13.6 ppg.

I’mani Davis scores at a 12.7 clip, while Brianna Lawrence claims 10.6 ppg while leading the team with 6.9 rebounds per contest.

(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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