It has been another dominant season for No. 6 Mississippi State, in large due to the play of graduate transfer Anriel Howard. The 5’11” forward is averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. On fire offensively, Howard has also excelled defensively. With 29 steals and 13 blocks on the year, Howard has been one of the Bulldogs’ primary weapons.
After two statement wins on the road, Mississippi State returns home to host the rival Lady Volunteers of Tennessee. In those two games, Howard posted 30 points, 24 against Alabama. Look for Howard to have a huge game and light up the Hump.
But it was her season high of 30 at Oregon that took the nation by storm. She shines in the biggest moments and is not afraid of the spotlight. Howard is also a tone setter and has become a trusted leader. As she has earned the trust of head coach Vic Schaefer and teammates, expect Howard to be the Bulldogs’ key piece going forward.
Howard’s ability on both ends of the floor is what Mississippi State was missing last year. Her experience has also been a key component. Howard, along with superstar center Teaira McCowan have developed a formidable one two push as well.
Looking to Sunday, Howard should post a double double, scoring at least 20. She is also reliable with free throws. Whether it be drawing a foul or taking a charge, Howard is well aware of how to earn trips to the line.
Howard is a star and Tennessee will have to find an answer. As shown throughout the season, Howard will come to play and bring the one thing Schaefer perches, toughness. Expect big things on Sunday.