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Number 4 Mississippi State Bulldogs Versus Number 5 South Carolina Gamecocks Preview

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The Biggest Regular Season Game in School History is Monday Night. Here is all the information you need for the big game.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Basketball Tournament - South Carolina vs Mississippi State Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will face the toughest SEC Team they will face all season Monday Night in Columbia South Carolina. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two so SEC Title Hopes are on the line. We will give you all the information you need to know for the SEC Game of the Year.

TV and Venue

  • Location: Columbia, SC(Colonial Life Arena, 18,000)
  • Time: 6:00 P.M. (CT)
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: Starkville 100.9 FM, Tupelo 95.9 FM, HailStatePlus

Team Info

Mississippi State

  • Record (20-0, 6-0 SEC)
  • Record on the road: 9-0
  • RPI: 4
  • SEC Standings: T-1st

South Carolina

  • Record (16-1, 6-0)
  • Record at home: 9-0
  • RPI: 2
  • SEC Standings: T-1st

Projected Starting Lineups

Mississippi State

Victoria Vivians (17.1 PPG, 40.1 FG%, 31% 3PTFG%, 4.4 R/G, 1.7 A/G)

Morgan William (11.0 PPG, 51.2 FG%, 39.1 3PTFG%, 4.1 A/G)

Chinwe Okorie (9.9 PPG, 58.6 FG%, 6.5 R/G)

Breanna Richardson (7.6 PPG, 56.9 FG%, 5.0 R/G)

Dominique Dillingham (6.3 PPG, 39.2 FG%, 1.6 A/G)

South Carolina

  • A'ja Wilson (16.1 PPG, 56.8 FG%, 7.3 R/G)
  • Alaina Coates (14.7 PPG, 68.3 FG%, 10.9 R/G)
  • Kaela Davis (13.1 PPG, 36 FG%, 39.3 3PTFG%, 4.4 R/G)
  • Allisha Gray (13.2 PPG, 50 FG%, 33.3 3PTFG%, 4.4 R/G)
  • Tyasha Harris (5.2 PPG, 44.2 FG%, 29.7 3PTFG%, 1.9 R/G)

Other Notes

  • Mississippi State and South Carolina both rank in the top 20 in the NCAA in Scoring Defense and Scoring Offense. Mississippi State is 17th in Scoring Offense and 8th in Scoring Defense, while South Carolina is 15th in Scoring Offense and 16th in Scoring Defense. Both Teams are also in the Top 10 in Scoring Margin with Mississippi State at 6th and South Carolina at 7th. Both lead the SEC in this statistic.
  • Alaina Coates is 5th in the NCAA in Field-Goal Percentage and 6th in the NCAA in Double-Doubles. Limiting her production is a key for Mississippi State.
  • Mississippi State is 5th in the NCAA with a Turnover Margin of 8.75 while SOuth Carolina is 53rd in the NCAA with a Turnover Margin of 3.41. Mississippi State is also 10th in the NCAA in Turnovers Forced while South Carolina is 145th in the NCAA in Turnovers Forced. Limiting and Forcing Turnovers is certainly going to be a factor in the game and Mississippi State appears to have the advantage.
  • The Bulldogs also have an advantage when it comes to 3 pointers. They are 4th in the NCAA in 3 Pt FG% Defense and 36th in the NCAA in 3 PT FG% Offense, while South Carolina is 69th in the NCAA in 3 PT FG% Offense and 11th in the NCAA in 3 Pt FG% Defense. If the Bulldogs are able to hold South Carolina under 30% and score over 40%, then the Bulldogs are right on track to win.
  • The depth of Mississippi State’s bench maybe too much for South Carolina. In Carolina’s 11 point loss to Duke on the road, South Carolina only used 6 players for significant minutes. They have been using 7 players in conference play. The Bulldogs Constantly rotate their bench using about 10 players for significant minutes. It seems to me that Mississippi State has more depth that they can rely on than South Carolina can.
  • Mississippi State needs to play its A Game. Against Alabama and Ole Miss, The Bulldogs did not play as well as they have for most of the season. Sloppy play against South Carolina will make MSU look like they did in last year’s Sweet Sixteen. However this Bulldog team showed its guts during an 18 point come from behind win at Iowa State. I do think South Carolina is a team where you need to play your A game the entire game like Duke did earlier this season.
  • Roshunda Johnson and Dominique Dillingham need to be in full health. Both of these players suffered injuries during the season. They have come back, but they have not had that same spark that they had at the beginning of the season. The X-Factor for MSU is for both of these players to regain that spark.

Prediction

Good grief this is a tough one to predict. I think the general expectation from the fan base is that they expect to lose with it being a road game. I think for the first time this season MSU is the underdog and is going to be the hunter rather than the hunted. Mississippi State has not defeated South Carolina since 2010, so the Gamecocks are used to defeating the Bulldogs. I think MSU has been circling this game for a while now and I am going to be one of the few that picks them to get it done. I say 62-55 Bulldogs.