Following an impressive win versus Ole Miss on Thursday, the #18 Mississippi State Women’s basketball squad continued their road trip in Auburn, AL. The Tigers were coming off of a dramatic 51-50 loss to rival Alabama, that included a little scuffle that cost the Tigers a player for the game. The Bulldogs came in with a 20-2 record, becoming the fastest team in the SEC, men’s or women’s, to reach that milestone on the season.
Coach Schaefer led his 2-loss Bulldog squad into Auburn Arena looking to maintain the momentum. The girls did not disappoint as they finished the first half on a 15-2 run, and brought their lead to around 20 during the second half. Freshman guard Victoria Vivians paced the Bulldogs’ scoring line with 19 points and 10 rebounds, giving her an impressive double-double on the night. Close behind were forwards Martha Alwal and Breanna Richardson with 15 points a piece. Martha Alwal was close to joining Victoria Vivians with a double-double on the game as she brought down 8 boards on the game. Dominique Dillingham (6 points), Morgan William, and Savannah Carter (both with 2 points) were the only other Bulldogs to put points on the board.
As per usual, Dominique Dillingham was doing things that cannot be shown on a stat sheet. She was all over the court providing pressure against the Auburn guards. The Bulldog defense forced 23 turnovers on the game, and produced 25 points off of those turnovers. Also, the rebounding game went in favor of the Maroon and White as they grabbed 38 rebounds compared to Auburn’s 30. With these rebounds, 17 of which were offensive, the Bulldogs were able to put up 25 second-chance points during the game.
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Not being able to rely on the outside shots as the Bulldogs only shot 17.6% from beyond the arc, the Bulldogs forced their way inside with good guard play and physical post play. Also, when the Bulldogs were able to get to the line after driving the lane, they were able to make their shots. The Bulldogs were 12-15 from the stripe, and kept control of the game despite only shooting 36.7% from the floor. Those percentages from the floor will be something that Coach Schaefer will try to address before the Bulldogs’ next matchup.
Speaking of that game, the #18 Bulldogs will look to avenge their first loss of the season as Vanderbilt will travel down. The game, scheduled to be a “White-out” by the Mississippi State Athletic Department, is set for a 7:00 PM CST tip-off. If you cannot make it to the Hump for that game on Thursday, you can view it online with SEC Network +. So remember to come, be loud, wear white, and bring plenty of friends to watch some of the most competitive basketball you will see this season.