UT makes its way to the Magnolia State with the momentum of a three-game winning streak, forged with victories over LSU, Florida and Vanderbilt. Last Sunday, State prevailed by 16 at Alabama, 65-49.
Earlier this week, Kentucky defeated SC by 28 points on its home floor. The Bulldogs earned their 25th-straight SEC regular-season victory in the game.
Even though McCowan was highly productive, the Bulldogs committed an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers, including four by McCowan, which prompted Schaefer to say after the game the Bulldogs were going to focus on offense leading up to the game against Tennessee.
Kentucky rolls into this one at 19-3 on the year. In four SEC home contests, MSU is winning by a score of 83.4 to 66.3 (+17.1). UT won at Auburn and Vandy, while falling at Georgia and Alabama in back-to-back games on January 13 and 17.More news: Offset Releases Footage of Cardi B Giving Birth in New Album Trailer
Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) are on the call for ESPN. A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game's Hoops Central page or the Lady Vol schedule on UTSports.com.
The Bulldogs are 10-2 at home this season and are a team loaded with upperclassmen like senior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who's averaging 18 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. With the outside shooting back, her presence would've made this a game.
This marks the 42nd meeting between the Lady Vols and MSU, with UT possessing a 37-4 record in the series. But that loss to Tennessee still ate at Schaefer and the Mississippi State upper-class players who experienced it. They are the only team to play in every tournament since it began in 1982. The Bulldogs are averaging 88 points per game, which ranks second nationally.
MSU held a 38-30 rebounding advantage.
Warlick credited Schaefer for doing a "great job" helping to develop McCowan, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring (16.9 points) and rebounding (13.7) per game. Mississippi State goes down on Saturday afternoon in Starkville, Mississippi, and this bout brings with it an entirely different dynamic than the first. The Lady Vols came back with six straight to pull within three. The Lady Vols also lost by 28 to Notre Dame in 2012; their previous worst SEC loss was by 27 to Georgia in 2000.More news: Denver school leaders, teachers negotiate trying to avoid strike
That game, however, seems to have been a turning point for this team.
UT features four players scoring in double figures, including two sophomores and a freshman.
The Tennessee Lady Vols scrapped to within three in the third quarter but couldn't overcome a No. 6 Mississippi State team that shot an impressive 52.2 percent on the day. In fact, she said she expects State, which has played in the national championship game two consecutive years, to contend for the national championship again. Meme Jackson was off, but if she gets her form back and everybody else stays consistent, there are some positive things to build off of when Westbrook returns. It also entered Week 14 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a blistering 90-58 run on top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Vegas has opened with the Cats a 3 point favorite over the Bulldogs. And although it took until the fourth quarter for everything to fully click, Mississippi State became a roaring inferno. "I told them going into the fourth quarter we wanted to punch them hard that first five minutes, and, boy, did we ever punch them".
Vanderbilt (6-16, 1-8 SEC) was led by redshirt junior Mariella Fasoula who had 16 points, eight rebounds and went a ideal 6-of-6 from the free throw line.More news: Diana Ross Celebrates 75th Birthday With Family and on Grammy Stage