Following their 82-61 victory over Auburn, No. 2 Mississippi State goes head to head with the Kentucky Wildcats led by a star of their own.
Tipoff is at 12:00 pm ET on ESPNU
Records and Rankings
Record: 29-0, 15-0 SEC
Ranking: 2 AP / 2 Coaches Poll
Record: 14-15, 6-9 SEC
What to Watch For
Morgan William running the point:
Having made the most of her senior night with 13 points, four assists, and shooting a perfect 6-6 from the line, William has shined offensively. She has evolved into a point guard with an all-around game, capable of taking over at any given moment. As it pertains to facilitating and/or distributing, William is a savant. In addition, she has improved as a scorer, an essential element for a point guard in today’s game.
Her vision on both ends of the floor will be on full display, as William is sure to have a night in Lexington. She is a headache on defense for opponents, willing to take anyone. Look for William stay consistent and score in double digits for the third straight game.
Maci Morris’ scoring ability:
Morris is a flat out superstar, plain and simple. She is a lethal shooter with range, able to spot up from distance. Morris is an underrated passer, as she able to create opportunities for teammates. Having put on a scoring clinic with 35 points against South Carolina, make no mistake that Morris is an offensive threat.
She will draw multiple defenders, as the Bulldogs are well aware of her ability. Mississippi State is arguably the nation’s best on defense, and is sure to have an answer for Morris. However, nobody should be surprised if the Kentucky native from Pineville puts up stellar numbers. If she could post 35 against a team of that magnitude, anything is possible.
The Bulldogs’ new one-two punch:
Blair Schaefer and Roshunda Johnson have been a formidable duo all season long. It only takes one-three point shot for Schaefer to become unconscious from beyond the arc. She went 5-8 from three against Florida, in which she posted 15 points, and 4-7 against No. 15 Missouri with 20. Though she has been in a bit of a scoring funk as of late, look for Schaefer to bounce back and have a big night.
Having said that, Schaefer’s defense has been stellar, especially when playing aside Johnson. Johnson has elevated her game significantly on both ends of the floor. Though known primarily for her defense, Johnson has drawn attention offensively. She has scored in double digits 17 times this season, coming off a 16 point point performance against Auburn.
Look for Schaefer and Johnson to light it up from three while also filling the stat line on defense. Kentucky will be on their heels when the two are on the floor, as both are sure to put on an offensive show. Schaefer and Johnson will be giving coach Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats fits all night, in that once one goes down, the three-point shot will on full display.
This will be one of Mississippi State’s tougher matchups, as Morris is likely to go off. That said, the Bulldogs will roll to 30-0. Mississippi State just has just too much star power. While the Wildcats will give them a run for their money, the Bulldogs ultimately pull away in a hard-fought battle.