Mississippi State - Arkansas Preview

The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (11-5, 2-1 SEC) face the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (8-8, 0-3 SEC) Thursday night on the campus of Arkansas. Tip-off time from Bud Walton Arena is set for 7 p.m. CT. The game can be heard online on Mississippi State's Maroon to the Max.

Mississippi State-Arkansas Preview:
  • Series Record: Arkansas leads 15-11
  • Location: Fayetteville, MS
  • Coverage: Maroon to the Max


  • Coach: Tom Collen
  • Team Record: 8-8 ( 0-3, SEC)

    About the Lady Razorbacks:
    The Lady Razorbacks are led by Tom Collen who is in his 3rd year at the school after coming from Louisville. Collen has a fairly impressive resume having led three different teams to the NCAA tournament. The Lady Razorbacks are in rebuild mode this season and their 8-8 overall and 0-3 SEC record confirms that. There is some glimmer of hope as the Lady Razorbacks are very young with six underclassmen in their eight man rotation, including three freshmen - Sarah Watkins, Quistelle Williams, and Domoniqu Robinson, all of whom stand over 6'0. The future is bright but they are just trying to find an SEC win right now.

    Projected Starting Lineup:

  • C- Ashley McCray SR.(6'3) 4.1 pts. 2.9 reb.
  • PF- Ashley Daniels SO. (6'2) 7.5 pts. 6.8 reb.
  • SF- Cierra Rickets SO. (5'9) 10.9 pts. 6.8 reb.
  • SG- Lyndsay Harris SO. (5'9) 11.8 pts. 3.3 apg. 1.3 stls.
  • PG- Charity Ford SR. ( 5'8) 11.0 pts. 1.8 stls. .909 ftp.
  • Top Reserves: Sarah Watkins FR. (6'3) 21.4 min. 7.3 pts. 4.7 reb. 1.3 blks., Quistelle Williams FR. ( 6'0) 14.7 min. 4.9 pts. 3.7 reb., Domoniqu Robinson FR. (6'0) 23.8 min. 6.6 pts. 4.4 reb.

    Injury Report:

    Team Leaders:

  • Scoring- 11.8 Harris
  • Rebounds- 6.8 Daniels and Rickets
  • Assists- 3.3 Harris
  • Blocks- 1.3 Watkins
  • Steals- 1.8 stls.

    Mississippi State:

  • Coach: Sharon Fanning-Otis
  • Team Record: 11-5 (2-1, SEC)

    About the Lady Bulldogs:
    The Lady Bulldogs are coming off the heels of a tough 27-point loss against 4th ranked Tennessee. Coach Fanning-Otis was visibly upset in the press conference following the match-up. And I'm sure practices this week were a bit more intense than normal. The Lady Bulldogs still are awaiting the return of their leading rebounder and starting power forward, Tysheka Grimes. Her status is still uncertain, so the Lady Bulldogs will have to push forward until Grimes returns.

    Projected Starting Lineup:

  • C- Chanel Mokango SR. ( 6'5) 8.9 pts. 6.8 reb. 1.9 blks.
  • PF- Rima Kalonda SR. ( 6'3) 2.8 pts. 3.8 reb.
  • SF- Mary Kathryn Govero JR. (5'11) 11.4 pts. 5.1 reb. 1.5 stls.
  • SG- Alexis Rack SR. ( 5'7) 20.3 pts. 4.4 apg. 2.5 stls. .377 3p.
  • PG- Armelie Lumanu SR. (5'9) 13.4 pts. 3.7 apg. 6.4 reb. 2.5 stls.
  • Top Reserves: Diamber Johnson SO.(5'7) 22.5 min. 4.4 pts., Bethany Washington SR. (5'8) 5.8 min.

    Injury Report:
    Marneshia Richard SR. and (5'8), Ashlie Billinslea JR. (5'6), both out for Season; Tysheka Grimes SR. (6'0) (Foot) Indefinite

    Team Leaders:

  • Scoring: 20.3 Rack
  • Rebounds: 6.8 Mokango
  • Blocks: 1.9 Mokango
  • Assists: 4.4 Rack
  • Steals: 2.5 Rack and Lumanu

    Stat Comparison:

  • Scoring: MSU 76.5, ARK 68.4
  • Scoring Defense: MSU 59.9, ARK 65.5
  • FG Shooting: MSU .423, ARK .425
  • FG Defense: MSU .396, ARK .375
  • 3pt. Shooting: MSU .319, ARK . 302
  • Rebounding: MSU 40.9, ARK .683
  • Rebound Margin: MSU +2.9, ARK 13.8
  • Blocks: MSU 3.6, ARK 4.4
  • Steals: MSU 10.8, ARK 10.4
  • Free Throw Shooting: MSU .666, ARK .683
  • Turnovers: MSU 15.7 , ARK 20.3

    Star Watch:
    Mississippi State ... Senior Guard Alexis Rack didn't have the game she would have liked against the Lady Volunteers, only connecting on 7-of-22 from the field. Rack, the 2nd leading scorer in the SEC, will look to get back on track against the Lady Razorbacks, a team that doesn't have the size at the guard position to disrupt Rack like Tennessee did.
    Arkansas ... The players to watch for the Lady Razorbacks are their freshmen trio of Watkins, Williams, Robinson, who all play significant minutes and average 18.8 points and 12.8 rebounds off the bench. If Coach Collen decides to employ a similar zone that the Lady Volunteers used with great success against MSU then the trio could be even more important.

    The Match-Up:
    This game on paper looks like an easy win for the Lady Bulldogs with the Lady Razorbacks having a down year. But I don't think it will be that easy partly due to the fact that the Razorbacks have five players in their eight person rotation who stand over 6'0, which is similar to Tennessee. They may not be Tennessee but after looking at film Coach Collen could decide to go big and try to clog the passing lanes with a zone. The Lady Razorbacks, while possessing good size, are still young and inexperienced and that shows in their turnovers per game, 20.3. The Lady Bulldogs have taken advantage of teams who turn the ball over this season. And I expect this game to be no different. While I expect the Lady 'Dogs to bring home a victory, this game may be closer than people think, so there may be some scary moments for the Lady Bulldogs.

    Jeremiah Short is a columnist who covers various Mississippi State sports for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at moot2005@yahoo.com

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