Only three teams in women's basketball remain undefeated, and the Mississippi State Bulldogs will look to remain in that group along with Princeton and No. 1 South Carolina when they travel to Vanderbilt for an SEC matchup.
The Bulldogs enter the game 18-0 and 3-0 in the SEC. Much of that success can be attributed to the defense played by Mississippi State this season. The Bulldogs lead the SEC and are ranked eighth in the nation in field goal defense, only allowing opponents to hit 33.4% of their shots. Living behind the three-point line has been even tougher on Mississippi State foes as they have been held to making 20.3% of their shots, the best defensive mark in the nation.
In all, the Bulldogs have held their opponents to 52.8 points per game, fourth in the SEC and 12th in the nation. This could spell trouble for the Commodores (8-7,0-3), a team that only averages 51.3 points per contest.
The Commodores will look to junior Heather Bowe to lead the way for the young squad. Bowe averages ten points per game, and she also picks up 4.9 rebounds per contest. In SEC play, Rebekah Dahlman has averaged 8.3 points per game, the best for the team in league play.
Two talented freshmen have helped lead the way for the Bulldogs this season. Victoria Vivians is third in the SEC, and tops among freshmen, with 15.5 points per game. Morgan William, also a freshman, averages 10.5 points per game.
Sophomore Breanna Richardson has averaged 9.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per contest in SEC play for the Bulldogs.
Against Arkansas, all three players came up big as Vivians scored 21 points and Williams and Richardson both added eleven points.
The Bulldogs come into the contest after finding a spectacular answer to a challenge from the Arkansas Razorbacks Thursday. In that contest, the Razorbacks jumped out to a first half lead on the wings of nearly 61% shooting from the field in the first half. In the second half, the Bulldogs ended up taking control of the game by clamping down on Arkansas, holding the foes from Fayetteville to under 14% from the field in the second half.