Alabama preview

Mississippi State will honor its lone senior Sherise Williams prior to the Alabama game. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Mississippi State will honor its lone senior Sherise Williams prior to the Alabama game. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Third place in the Southeastern Conference is on the line for No. 16 Mississippi State as it wraps the regular season Sunday at home against Alabama on Senior Day.

Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 1:30 p.m., with the game being broadcast online and the WatchESPN app on SEC Network +.

Fans can listen to the radio call 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.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Mississippi State will recognize senior forward Sherise Williams along with managers Yasma Smith and Joslyn Gillespie.

Tickets for the contest cost $5 for adults. Youth age 17 and under get in free, as do MSU students with a valid ID.

Mississippi State students get free pizza while supplies last, and families can arrive early and enjoy games and inflatables in Bully’s Kidz Kourt in Mize Pavilion.

Following the game, the Bulldogs will be signing autographs on the concourse.

Mississippi State enters Sunday’s game 23-6 overall and 10-5 in SEC play following a 66-61 road victory at Vanderbilt on Thursday.

“I’m really proud of my team. I think we’re kind of starting to play a little better. I’m proud of how hard we played defensively (at Vanderbilt). We forced 25 turnovers on the road, and I think Vanderbilt’s very talented,” MSU’s Vic Schaefer said. “I’m really proud of our effort. It’s going to be a great ball game on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a really special day for us and for Sherise. Sherise is our only senior. She’s been with us all four years. She’s the only player who has been with us for all four years. She will always be the only player that was with us that first year all the way through the fourth year and that makes her very special. I know our kids will play well and inspired for her this weekend.”

MSU, which secured double-digit league wins in consecutive seasons for the first time, can clinch a second-straight third-place conference finish with a win on Sunday.

The Bulldogs sit a game ahead of Georgia, Kentucky and Florida in the battle for one of the top four seeds that earn a bye into Friday’s quarterfinals at next week’s SEC Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.

Sophomore Victoria Vivians paced the Bulldogs in Thursday’s win in Nashville, notching 21 points, her second straight game with 20-plus points.

The 21-point effort put Vivians three points away from becoming the fifth Bulldog to reach 1,000-career points in two seasons.

The Carthage native enters Sunday’s regular-season finale second in the SEC averaging 17.0 ppg. She scores at a 15.8 clip in league contests, the fifth-highest mark in the league.

Thursday’s effort, coupled with a 21-point, 10-rebound performance at Ole Miss, gives Vivians a 21.5 average her last two games. During that stretch she is knocking down 59.4 percent of her field goal attempts, including 40 percent from 3-point range.

Sophomore Morgan William and junior Dominique Dillingham have also been producing on the offensive end for the Bulldogs.

William claimed her ninth double-digit scoring game in the last 11 contests with 15 points on Thursday. The Birmingham, Alabama, native upped her season scoring average to 10.0 ppg, while her SEC mark sits at 11.1 ppg.

Dillingham collected a second-straight 12-point outing on Thursday. The Spring, Texas, product averages 8.9 ppg in league contests and 7.9 ppg for the season after reaching double figures for the sixth time in the last eight games.

The Bulldogs face an Alabama squad that is 15-13 overall and 4-11 in SEC play after wrapping its home slate with a 54-46 win against Tennessee on Thursday.

The Crimson Tide was paced by 13 points from Karyla Middlebrook, while Hannah Cook, Alabama’s leading scorer at 12.3 ppg, tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Senior Nikki Hegstetter tops Alabama on the boards with 6.5 rpg.

Mississippi State seeks a third-straight win against the Crimson Tide after sweeping both of last season’s meetings. MSU has won 10 of the last 13 meetings.

(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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