Mississippi State - Kentucky Preview

The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (14-7, 5-3 SEC) face the Kentucky Lady Wildcats (17-3, 5-2 SEC) Sunday afternoon in Humphrey Coliseum. Tip-off time is set for 2 p.m. CT. The game can be heard online on Mississippi State's Maroon to the Max and on the radio on WFCA-FM 107.9 in French Camp.

Mississippi State-Kentucky Preview:
  • Series Record: Mississippi State leads 17-16
  • Location: Starkville, MS
  • Coverage: Maroon to the Max, WFCA-FM 107.9 French Camp, MS
  • Date and Time: Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m.


  • Coach: Andy Matthew Mitchell
  • Team Record: 17-3 (5-2, SEC)

    About the Lady Wildcats:
    The Lady Wildcats, currently No. 18th in the nation, are on a roll, having won their last four games. They employ a four-guard line up and definitely score in bunches, leading the SEC in scoring with 77.8 points a game. They are led by Victoria Dunlap who is their leader in four categories. They play great defense, allowing just 56.3 points a game. If they continue their exceptional play, The Lady Wildcats are setting themselves up for a high seed in the NCAA tournament.

    Projected Starting Line-Up:

  • C- Victoria Dunlap JR. (6'1) 17.5 pts. 8.7 reb. 1.8 blks. 3.3 stls.
  • PF- Amani Franklin SR. (5'11) 8.3 pts. 7.0 reb.
  • SF- Carly Morrow JR. (5'11) 7.5 pts.
  • SG- Amber Smith JR. (5'6) 10.6 pts. 3.8 apg.
  • PG- A'Dia Mathies FR. (5'9) 11.6 pts. 4.6 reb.
  • Top Reserves: Lydia Watkins SR. (6'1) 7.2 pts. 4.9 reb. , Rebbeca Gray SO. (5'10) 6.5 pts.

    Injury Report:

  • None

    Team Leaders:

  • Scoring- 17.5 Dunlap
  • Rebounds- 8.7 Dunlap
  • Assists- 3.8 Smith
  • Blocks- 1.8 Dunlap
  • Steals- 3.3 Dunlap

    Mississippi State:

  • Coach: Sharon Fanning-Otis
  • Team Record: 14-7 (5-3, SEC)

    About the Lady Bulldogs:
    The Lady Bulldogs are coming off a big upset victory over 9th ranked Georgia, the highest ranked opponent they have beaten since 2001. After a short slump, they have now defeated two ranked opponents in a row, Vanderbilt and Georgia. Thanks to those two victories, they have re-established themselves as one of the top teams in the SEC. And they should become an even better team now that appears Tysheka Grimes, who dressed for the Georgia game but did not play, is about ready to get back into the lineup.

    Projected Starting Line-Up:

  • C- Chanel Mokango SR. ( 6'5) 9.9 pts. 6.9 reb. 2.4 blks.
  • PF-Mary Kathryn Govero JR. (5'11) 10.6 pts. 4.7 reb. 1.5 stls.
  • SF- Armelie Lumanu SR. (5'9) 13.0 pts. 6.9 reb. 2.7 stls.
  • SG- Alexis Rack SR. ( 5'7) 20.3 pts. 4.3 apg. 2.2 stls.
  • PG- Diamber Johnson SO.(5'7) 4.9 pts. 23.7 min.
  • Top Reserves: Rima Kalonda SR. ( 6'3) 2.9 pts. 3.6 pts. , Bethany Washington SR. (5'8) 6.8 min.

    Injury Report:

  • Marneshia Richard SR. (5'8), Ashlie Billinslea JR. (5'6) (Knee) Season, Tysheka Grimes SR. (6'0) (Foot) Indefinite

    Team Leaders:

  • Scoring: 20.3 Rack
  • Rebounds: 6.9 Mokango and Lumanu
  • Blocks: 2.4 Mokango
  • Assists: 4.3 Rack
  • Steals: 2.7 Lumanu

    Stat Comparison:

  • Scoring: MSU 73.9 , KEN 77.8
  • Scoring Defense: MSU 60.0 , KEN 56.3
  • FG Shooting: MSU .419 , KEN .427
  • FG Defense: MSU .391 , KEN .370
  • 3pt. Shooting: MSU .329 , KEN .333
  • Rebounding: MSU 39.6 , KEN 39.5
  • Rebound Margin: MSU +0.9 , KEN +1.9
  • Blocks: MSU 4.0 , KEN 4.4
  • Free Throw Shooting: MSU .672 , KEN .680
  • Assists: MSU 15.0 , KEN 12.2
  • Turnovers: MSU 15.6 , KEN 15.7

    Star Watch:
    Mississippi State - Alexis Rack, who exploded versus ninth ranked Georgia for 34 points including 24 in the second half, is my player to watch for Mississippi State. Rack had been in a bit of a slump, but she rebounded nicely in the Thursday game. I expect her to build off her 34-point performance and score big against Kentucky.
    Kentucky - The Lady Wildcats attack begins and ends with Victoria Dunlap who leads them in four categories including points scored, rebounds, blocks, and steals. Dunlap is a versatile player who should give the Lady Bulldogs trouble, especially since they lack size up front. If the Lady Bulldogs contain her then they have a great chance of pulling off the upset.

    The Match-Up:
    This is a game that has the makings of a shoot-out as both teams like to play an up tempo style of basketball. The Lady Wildcats and Lady Bulldogs match up well because both teams are very athletic and employ a four-guard lineup. Both teams live and die by the three, although the Lady Wildcats play slightly better defense. For the Lady 'Dogs to win, containing Victoria Dunlap is a key. And with Chanel Mokango having four inches on Dunlap, that could wind up being a significant factor in State's favor. The game is shaping up to be a good one that promises to delight the crowd in the "True Maroon" game. The Lady Bulldogs seem to be on a roll after a short slump and I expect them to pull the upset tomorrow.

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

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