Tommy Lopez

About Tommy Lopez

Bulldogs Set To Host Southern Miss In WNIT

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – In-state foes meet in the postseason Monday as Mississippi State hosts Southern Miss in the second round of the 2014 WNIT.

Tipoff at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for MSU students and youth 18 and under. Fans can purchase tickets at the gate, online at www.hailstate.com/tickets or by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS.

The first 100 MSU students in attendance receive free tickets, pizza and Hail State Hoops gear.

Locally, fans can listen to the game on WKBB-FM 100.9 and on WXWX-FM 96.3, while HailStateTV subscribers can access live video and audio of the game at www.HailState.com/HSTVLive.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to play in the second round of the WNIT and for these ladies to have the opportunity to play the game we love,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We’ve had a couple really good days of practice, so I feel really good about this group.

“We are playing a good, well-coached Southern Miss team that is hot right now, losing one game since Jan. 22. We’re expecting a knock down drag out like the first time we played them, so it should be a heck of a ball game and a great challenge. I’m anxious to see how we come out and play.”

The Bulldogs (20-13) advanced to Monday with an impressive 77-68 win against Tulane last Thursday in front of an energetic home crowd. Martha Alwal and Savannah Carter added 15 points apiece to lead MSU, while Breanna Richardson recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Alwal paces Schaefer’s squad in scoring and rebounding on the season, averaging 15.3 points and 8.6 boards a contest. Fellow junior Kendra Grant, who scored 10 points against the Green Wave, also averages double figures with 11.1 points an outing.

Carter made a season-high six baskets Thursday to notch double-figures for the fifth time in the last six games. During that stretch the Tulsa, Okla., native is scoring at a 10.7 rate.

USM (27-6) claimed a 75-60 win against Lamar in Hattiesburg on Thursday. Jamierra Faulkner paces the Lady Eagles with a 17.6 scoring clip, and she tops the nation with 8.6 assists per game. Tamara Jones (14.5 ppg) and Jerontay Clemons (11.2 ppg) also average double-digit point totals.

Monday’s clash is a rematch of Dec. 14 in Starkville that Mississippi State won 71-61 behind 19 points, nine rebounds from Alwal.

It is also a battle of the last two winners of the C Spire Gillom Trophy, the award awarded annually to the best female college basketball player in Mississippi. Alwal captured the prize last season for MSU, while Faulkner earned this season’s award for USM.

The schools have met once in the WNIT, a 62-61 USM win in Hattiesburg in 2008. The Lady Eagles hold a 22-18 lead in the all-time series, but the Bulldogs have won five out of the last six and three in a row at The Hump.

The winner of Monday’s in-state battle will advance to the third round (March 26-28) to face the winner of Auburn and Old Dominion.