By Parrish Alford and Logan Lowery
SEC women’s basketball play opens tonight with Ole Miss at home and Mississippi State on the road.
MSU (13-1) is off to the best start in school history and carries a six-game winning streak into a 6 p.m. tipoff at Florida (10-3). Ole Miss (9-5) hosts Missouri (11-2) at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs and Rebels have already equaled their win totals from a year ago.
Tonight’s SEC slate includes one Top 25 matchup, as No. 16 LSU (10-2) visits No. 5 Tennessee (11-1).
A quick update on the Bulldogs and Rebels:
The Gators won last year’s meeting, 61-55 in Starkville, and leads the series 23-18.
Martha Alwal, a 6-foot-4 junior center, paces State in scoring (17.0) and rebounds (8.8) and share the league lead in blocked shots (2.4). Florida (10-3), also on a six-game winning streak, has five players averaging double figures led by Jaterra Bonds (16.7).
The most impressive outing in that span may have been an 87-80 loss at No. 9 Baylor, in which Ole Miss led most of the way.
The Rebels are coming off a 96-69 win over Austin Peay on Monday.
Senior guard Valencia McFarland scored 22 points in the victory, her fifth 20-plus scoring game this season and the 18th of her career. She leads the Rebels in scoring (16.1).
The Rebels’ Tia Faleru, a 6-foot-1 junior, leads the SEC in rebounding (10.2)
Missouri is 11-2 under veteran coach Robin Pingeton, now in her 18th season.
Missouri won 73-72 in overtime last season in Oxford. The series is tied, 1-1.