STARKVILLE, Miss. The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (12-8, 3-3 SEC) travel to Oxford on Sunday for a 2 p.m. matchup with the 22nd-ranked Mississippi Lady Rebels (16-5, 5-1 SEC) at Tad Smith Coliseum. In conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, members of the Mississippi State coaching and support staff will wear pink in support of all coaches in the profession battling cancer.
State enters Sunday's game on a two-game win streak having defeated South Carolina, 87-73, in Starkville a week ago. MSU's most recent win was a double overtime thriller against Kentucky. The Lady Bulldogs had five players score in double digits to take down the Wildcats 83-75 in Rupp Arena.
In her second career double-double, freshman forward Bethany Washington scored 16 points and brought down 10 boards in the win over Kentucky. Washington hit the game-tying goal with one second on the clock to force Thursday's game into overtime. Washington scored on a layup from an out-of-bounds pass from sophomore Marneshia Richard. In her return from injury, sophomore guard Robin Porter scored 18 points and brought down nine rebounds at UK. She hit 7-for-12 from the field and went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
For the second time in as many games, State junior forward Imesia Jackson scored 20 or more points. In last Sunday's win over South Carolina, Jackson scored 23 against the Gamecocks and tallied a team and game-high 22 on Thursday against the Wildcats. She becomes the first Lady Bulldog to post 20+ points in two straight contest since Tan White (22 vs. Arkansas State, 3/17/05 and 38 vs. Arkansas, 3/305).
Mississippi State's three-point field goal percentage defense ranks third in the SEC, behind LSU and Ole Miss. In 20 games played this year, opponents are 96-of-325 (.295) against the Lady Bulldogs. MState held Kentucky to an opponent season-low 2-of-20 from behind the arc, just 10 percent. State's previous low was 14.3 percent (2-of-14) against the Grambling Lady Tigers on Dec. 19, 2006.
The 22nd-ranked Lady Rebels enter Sunday's contest sporting a perfect 11-0 record on their home floor and a 16-5 mark overall. UM is 5-1 in the league, having dropped their first SEC contest on Thursday eveing 60-69 to #14 Georgia.
Armintie Price leads Ole Miss in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounding, bringing down 8.7 boards per game. Alliesha Easley is second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points each time out. Ashley Awkward also averages double digits with 10.6 points per game. Jada Mincy is second on the team in rebounding with 7.3 boards per contest. Awkward was the UM leading scorer at Georgia with 15 points.
UM has also defeated Penn State this season, as well as Vanderbilt and LSU in back-to-back contests. UM fell to then top-ranked Maryland, 79-110, on Nov. 25, 2006, at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas.
MSU and UM have combined for five overtime contests. MState is coming off of an 83-75 double overtime win over Kentucky. MSU previously defeated Florida State 65-60. At Rice on Nov. 17, the Lady Rebeles fell to the Owls, 91-92 in 2OT. On Dec. 12, Rutgers bested the Lady Rebels in 3OT, 84-89. Most recently, Ole Miss also defeated Kentucky in one overtime, 67-65 on Jan. 14.
Following Sunday's game, the Lady Bulldogs return home for a televised contest against Arkansas. Tipoff from Humphrey Coliseum is slated for 8 p.m. CT. State previously defeated the Lady Razorbacks, 81-73, in Fayetteville.