Ole Miss preview

Jerica James has hit 10 of 30 shots behind the arc this season. (Spruce Derden/ USA Today Sports)

Jerica James has hit 10 of 30 shots behind the arc this season. (Spruce Derden/ USA Today Sports)

In-state rivals meet on the hardwood once again Thursday as Mississippi State travels to Oxford for a 6 p.m. showdown against Ole Miss at Tad Smith Coliseum.

The contest will be broadcast in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas on WKBB-FM 100.9, and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3. HailStateTV subscribers can get the live audio stream at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.

The Bulldogs enter the contest 14-5 overall and 1-4 in SEC play after falling 73-35 at No. 21 Texas A&M on Sunday. Senior Katia May, who is averaging 9.0 points and 4.8 assists in SEC play, led MSU with eight points and four assists.

May and the Bulldogs will look to avenge a 65-51 setback to the Rebels in Oxford last season that snapped a six-game MSU win streak in the series.

Ole Miss leads the overall series 62-23, but the Bulldogs have won 20 of the 30 meetings since 2000, including nine wins in Oxford. MSU won last season’s first meeting 72-57 in Starkville before the Rebels claimed the rematch.

Junior Martha Alwal averaged 18.0 points in the two games against Ole Miss last season, and she paces Vic Schaefer’s squad this year with 15.6 points per game, good for ninth in the league. The junior also ranks fifth in the conference with 8.3 rebounds an outing.

Kendra Grant, who scored 16 points last season in Oxford after netting 20 in the home win against the Rebels, is second on the team with 12.5 points per game. Freshman Dominique Dillingham also averages double figures for the Bulldogs, averaging 10.2 points per game.

Ole Miss (9-10, 0-5 SEC) dropped a 68-65 decision at Arkansas on Sunday. Valencia McFarland led the Rebels with 25 points.

McFarland rates second in the conference in assists with 6.2 per game and seventh in points with a 16.2 scoring clip. Tia Faleru averages 15.6 points an outing and ranks second in the league with 9.4 rebounds per game.

Thursday’s game is the first of two meetings between the squads this year, as UM will visit Humphrey Coliseum on Feb. 23.

The Bulldogs will return to the Hump Sunday to host Missouri in the team’s “We Back Pat” game. SportSouth will televise the tilt, which is set to tip at 2 p.m.

(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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