STARKVILLE, Miss. - Looking for their seventh win in the last 11 meetings, the Mississippi State women's basketball team (13-7,1-4 SEC) plays host to Alabama (8-12, 1-4 SEC) Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum. Tipoff between the Lady Bulldogs and Crimson Tide is slated for 7 p.m. CT with Jim Ellis calling the action on WFCA 107.9 FM.
The last six games between State and UA have been decided by an average of 8.3 points per contest. In the last two meetings, both teams traded victories on the opponent's home floor. Alabama took a close 61-59 decision over the Lady Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum during the 2005-06 season, while State won last season's contest, 89-70 in Tuscaloosa.
Under third year Head Coach Stephany Smith, Alabama enters the game on a four game conference losing skid. The Tide won their first Southeastern Conference game of the season, 65-54, over South Carolina earlier in the year, but has yet to improve on that mark. Tierney Jenkins leads the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game. Meanwhile, Talisha Chandler leads the squad with 8.2 rebounds a contest. In Alabama's last game, the Tide dropped a 62-48 decision to archrival Auburn. During that contest, UA's Camillia Blands led the team with 13 points, while Tupelo-native Katie Hancock added six points and two assists in her debut.
Mississippi State enters the contest with the Crimson Tide looking to improve on a 1-4 conference record. During the five game stretch, MSU is averaging 48 points per game, while holding opponents to a league leading .218 three-point field goal percentage. In State's last outing, the Lady Bulldogs watched a 12 point lead midway through the first half disappear in a 56-42 setback at Arkansas. Junior guard Marneshia Richard led the team with 12 points in the game, while senior forward Imesia Jackson fell two points shy of recording a double-double with eight points to go along with 10 rebounds on the afternoon.
Sophomore forward Tysheka Grimes leads MSU in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.3 points and 5.9 boards per game. With just 16 more points, Grimes will notch 500 for her career. Marneshia Richard leads the team in assists and steals with an average of 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals respectively.
Following Thursday's matchup with Alabama, Mississippi State travels to Auburn to take on the Lady Tigers Sunday afternoon. Tipoff between the two schools is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State track team returns to indoor action this week competing at two separate meets. The first meet is the LSU Pentathlon, taking place on Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse in Baton Rouge, La. The second meet is the Rob McCravy Memorial Track and Field meet being hosted by the University of Kentucky on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2 at the Nutter Fieldhouse in Lexington, Ky.
Action from the LSU Pentathlon begins at 3 p.m. Livestats of the day's events can be watched at www.lsusports.net.
Action from the Rob McCravy Memorial Track and Field meet will begin at 6 p.m with the weight throw. Livestats of both days' events can be followed on www.ukathletics.com.
The Rod McCravy Memorial Track and Field meet is named in honor of McCravy, a former University of Kentucky track athlete who died in 1987 at the age of 19 while sleeping in his dorm room.
Other teams competing in the Rob McCravy Memorial Track and Field meet are Alabama (men only), Eastern Kentucky, Florida, Georgia State (women only), Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (OH), Middle Tennessee, Ohio State (men only), Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas Christian, Texas A&M and Western Kentucky.
In their first indoor meet of the season, MSU placed sixth at the Clemson Invitational. Freshman Sarah Hammes captured her first individual crown in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17 minutes, 55.80 seconds. Distance runners Annie Falor finished third place in the one mile run, while Simone Domingue finished third in the 3,000-meter run.
After a week of rest and preparation, the Lady Bulldogs will head to Fayetteville, Ark., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, competing in the Tyson Invite for the first of three meets being held at the University of Arkansas.