State, Ole Miss battle to stay out of SEC basement

By NEMS Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – A tough regular season for both teams comes to an end today as Ole Miss visits Mississippi State for a 2 p.m. SEC game at Humphrey Coliseum.
It’s a battle to stay out of the league basement, as both teams are 3-12 against conference foes.
Mississippi State (11-16) is coming off a 68-55 win at Alabama on Thursday, but the Lady Bulldogs are winless (0-7) in league games at home this season.
Ole Miss (10-17) has lost six games in a row, including Thursday’s rain-shortened 66-39 loss at home to No. 4 Tennessee.
The Rebels have struggled since scoring leader Kayla Melson went out with an injury in their last victory, 61-59 at Florida on Feb. 3.
In the first meeting of these teams, on Feb. 10 in Oxford, MSU won 59-43. The Bulldogs have won the last three games in this series on their home court.
Both teams have battled through this season with rosters in transition. Mississippi State had to replace four starters from a surprising NCAA Sweet Sixteen run last season, while freshmen have made 61 starts for Ole Miss.
One of those freshmen, point guard Valencia McFarland, leads the Rebels in scoring (13.2) and is third in the league in assists (4.5).
The lone senior in the Mississippi State lineup, Mary Kathryn Govero, leads her team in scoring (12.6). She’ll be honored today as she makes her final homecourt appearance.
Diamber Johnson, a junior from Pontotoc, is second on the MSU roster in scoring (12.3) and fifth in the league in assists (4.0).
The SEC Women’s Tournament opens Thursday in Nashville. Today’s winner would enter as the No. 11 seed and play the No. 6 seed at 8 p.m. The loser would be the 12th seed and would play the No. 5 seed at 5:30 p.m.
Auburn, LSU and South Carolina all enter today’s games tied for fifth place in the league with 8-7 records.
• SEC standings, Page 2B

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