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No. 2 Mississippi State vs No. 15 Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Preview

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The 31-0 Bulldogs take on the Aggies in a much anticipated SEC Tournament Semifinal.

Mississippi State Athletics

Following an 81-58 rout over the Kentucky Wildcats, the Bulldogs continue their journey through the SEC Tournament, up against a dangerous Texas A&M team sure to put up a fight in tonight’s Semifinal.

Broadcast Information

Tipoff is at 5:00 pm ET on ESPNU

Records and Rankings

Mississippi State:

Record: 31-0, 15-0 SEC

Ranking: 2 AP / 2 Coaches Poll

Texas A&M:

Record: 24-8, 11-5 SEC

Ranking: 15 AP / 16 Coaches Poll

What to Watch For

Blair Schaefer as a three-point sniper with reliable defense:

Fresh off a 15-point performance to open the tournament, Schaefer picked the perfect time to return to form from beyond the arc. Her five threes tied a career high, as she looked much more comfortable shooting from a distance. Once in a groove, Schaefer is borderline unstoppable, able to spot up from anywhere along the perimeter.

Look for Schaefer to ignite the offense and continue her three-point shooting streak. Her confidence is back and in full force, as she will be a catalyst all night. Schafer is also an underrated defender, and will take on any matchup. Her defense is at its best under the bright lights, and will surely play a major role against the Aggies.

Roshunda Johnson’s emergence as a scoring threat:

Johnson has been on fire as of late, as she led all scorers with 20 points against Kentucky. Her all-around game has improved on both ends of the floor, ultimately drawing more and more attention. The Aggies will have all eyes on Johnson, as she is sure to be a primary concern for the Texas A&M.

Her and Schaefer have become a formidable three-point tandem as well. Both have brought out the best in one another, and that will only continue. Johnson has developed a lethal three-point shot, and it is only getting more dangerous. She will fill the stat line with a purpose, as Johnson is sure to put up mind blowing stats tonight.

Teaira McCowan’s dominance in the paint:

Opposing teams have had no answer for McCowan, plain and simple. She has been nothing short of spectacular, as McCowan recorded her 23rd double-double against the Wildcats. Head Coach Gary Blair and the Aggies will do everything they can, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to stop McCowan. Aside from South Carolina’s Aja Wilson, she is the nation’s best in the paint.

She will likely post her 24th double-double and will make her presence known early. As always, McCowan will draw multiple defenders, but that won’t do much for Texas A&M, as the Bulldogs have too many shooters that can take over. Mississippi State’s roster is stacked with scoring threats, and their ability will take the load off of McCowan if needed.

Chennedy Carter:

Carter has been a sensation, and is sure to pick up right where she left off after a performance for the ages against LSU. She dropped 27 points on the Tigers, along with nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Carter will have her moments and be a force all game.

Mississippi State will key in on her, as their defense will be on full display. Carter was dominant and then some in her last meeting with the Bulldogs. She posted 31 points, four rebounds, and an assist off the bench. Given that Mississippi State prides itself on tenacious defense, it is highly unlikely that Carter will put up numbers as such against the Bulldogs twice in a row.

Prediction:

Though the Aggies are a legitimate threat to the Bulldogs, Mississippi State will find a way to keep them in check. Expect a dogfight with theatrics, as this is sure to be an epic showdown in Nashville. There is too much depth on the Bulldogs’ roster, and this squad is well aware of when to turn on the jets, as Mississippi State will roll to 32-0.