About the Lady Commodores:
The Lady Commodores are a team looking for consistency. With only a 3-3 record in SEC play, they are team with more talent than that record indicates. They did get a big upset win over Georgia. They are led by 5'11 point guard Jence Rhoads who is averaging 5.3 assists per game and causes other teams match-up problems. The Lady Commodores are a fairly efficient team that leads the SEC in field goal percentage and three point percentage. Due to their efficiency and lack of consistent mistakes, they are the type team that makes teams pay if the opposing team gets careless on defense.
Projected Starting Line-Up:
About the Lady Bulldogs:
The Lady Bulldogs, having lost three of their last four games, are a team at a crossroad. It seems the loss of Tysheka Grimes is finally starting to show up as Coach Fanning-Otis has had to tinker with the lineup a bit, first inserting Rima Kalonda but eventually settling on Diamber Johnson as the fifth starter. The Lady Bulldogs were looking good for their second straight NCAA tournament berth but now they may be on the outside looking in unless they turn things around soon.
Projected Starting Line-Up:
Mississippi State - Senior Guard Armelie Lumanu has been asked to take on a lot this season and has responded by being in the top three on the team in four categories points - rebounds, assists, and steals. Despite standing just 5'9, she has registered three double-doubles on the season. Lumanu will be key in this game because she will likely be the player matched up against Jence Rhoads, the player who controls the Lady Commodores precision offense. If Lumanu is able to disrupt Rhoads then that could get the Lady Commodores out of sync and possibly propel the Lady Bulldogs to a key road victory.
Vanderbilt - Junior Guard Jence Rhoads makes the Lady Commodores go, rarely making mistakes, which embodies the style the Lady Commodores play. Rhoads is averaging 5.3 assist per game while scoring 12.8 points a game. If Rhoads is able to operate the offense without disruption then the Lady Commodores should be able to pull out the victory.
The last time these two teams played Mississippi State came away with the upset at home but the Lady Bulldogs must now travel to Nashville in what is a key match-up. Both teams are 3-3 in SEC play and need this victory. Lady Bulldogs possess more athleticism which helped them in the last game, but the Lady Commodores play more under control with few mistakes. This game will come down to tempo and who gets to play their style. If the game is fast paced, then the Lady Bulldogs win, but if the game becomes a halfcourt affair, then the Lady Commodores should come away with a victory.
Jeremiah Short is a columnist who covers various Mississippi State sports for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org