The game is at 8:30 p.m. CT and can be watched on ESPN2.
What to Watch For
Teaira McCowan down low
McCowan is the team’s focal point and a walking double double. However, expect the Jaguars to foul her at any time. That said, McCowan has figured out a way to stay out of foul trouble as of late. In addition, she has improved her free-throw shooting. McCowan, who is averaging 17.8 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, has been on a tear, having had one of the best regular seasons we’ve seen, and is sure to continue her dominance tonight and throughout the tournament.
Defensively, McCowan is a force and can rule the paint. But her most lethal weapon is crashing the offensive boards, ultimately creating second chance opportunities for teammates. Moreover, the Bulldogs have shooters, including snipers Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Bre’Amber Scott. Look for McCowan to get off to a running start on the boards and find open shooters along the perimeter.
Anriel Howard on defense
An underrated defender, Howard, who has fit in perfectly, must show up early. Mississippi State feeds off her energy, as Howard’s defensive prowess should take a load off of McCowan. Furthermore, the two have been lethal as a duo. Howard, who has accumulated 14 blocks and 36 steals on the year, can change a game with her play on the defensive end.
As he preaches toughness on defense, coach Vic Schaefer relies on Howard. An upperclassmen, Howard’s experience will play an integral role for the Bulldogs. Expect Howard to make an impact early and set the tone.
Mississippi State routes Southern U, 87-59