South Florida preview

Dominique Dillingham leads Mississippi State in minutes played averaging 25.8 per game. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Dominique Dillingham leads Mississippi State in minutes played averaging 25.8 per game. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Mississippi State faces a tough challenge in its non-conference finale as it meets No. 17/20 South Florida in the SEC/AAC Challenge in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tip from Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is set for 3:30 p.m. CT. The contest will be broadcast nationally on the SEC Network, with Paul Sunderland, Carolyn Peck and Steffi Sorensen on the call.

Fans in the Golden Triangle area can also listen to Jason Crowder and Charlie Winfield on the radio call on WNMQ-FM 103.1.

Vic Schaefer’s squad heads to Jacksonville 12-1 on the year following an 81-41 win against Southeastern Louisiana Monday night.

That win was State’s seventh-straight victory and made the Bulldogs 40-2 in non-conference games going back to the 2013-14 season.

Sophomore Victoria Vivians and junior Chinwe Okorie paced MSU with 13 points each. Vivians enters Wednesday’s game third in the SEC in scoring with 17.8 ppg.

The Carthage native knocks down 2.8 3-pointers per game, the second-most in the SEC.

Okorie continued her stellar play Monday, coming a rebound shy of a double-double. Okorie has been solid in the post the last five games, averaging 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.

That stretch improved her season average to 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest.

Sophomore Morgan William enters Wednesday averaging 12.2 ppg the last five games following a 12-point, eight-assist effort against Southeastern Louisiana.

The Birmingham, Alabama, native has gone 24 of 25 (96 percent) in that five-game span, raising her season total to an SEC second-best 89.8 percent (44 of 49).

The Bulldogs boast the nation’s 13th-best offense, scoring at an 82.8 clip. MSU rates among the country’s top teams on the defensive end as well, ranking ninth nationally holding foes to 50.8 ppg.

State forces the sixth-most turnovers in the country (24.1) and rates second in turnover margin at +10.9.

MSU meets a South Florida team that is 7-2 overall and has won four-straight games following a 68-46 win against Oklahoma State on Dec. 20.

It will be the second meeting between the two squads, with USF claiming a 60-58 win on a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the 2014 WNIT quarterfinals.

Courtney Williams, who made that winning basket, leads the Bulls with a 24.3 scoring average that ranks third in the nation.

Alisia Jenkins follows with 13.3 ppg while puling down the country’s third-most rebounds with 14.3 per game.

(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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