Mississippi State women's basketball: 5 need-to-know storylines as Bulldogs host Vandy

As the Mississippi State women's basketball team faces the Vanderbilt Commodores, keep an eye on these five key storylines Thursday evening.

Jan 7, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot Bully dances during a
Jan 7, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot Bully dances during a / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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How will the Mississippi State Bulldogs balance their offensive load?

Vanderbilt has heavily relied upon the aforementioned Cambridge as well as Sacha Washington to be productive on the scoreboard. The Commodores have thrived as their two leading scorers have thrived and averaged 14.8 and 14.6 points per game respectively.

But, outside of Cambridge and Washington, Vanderbilt doesn't have a single player averaging double digits scoring per game this season.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State boasts incredible depth at the top of its depth chart. The Bulldogs currently have four players scoring in the double digits right now. Jerkaila Jordan leads the way with 17.2 points per game, followed closely by Jessika Carter's 15.1 points per game. After that, MSU has Debreasha Powe at 11.6 points per game and Lauren Park-Lane at 10.4 points per game.

Erynn Barnum is close to being there at 9.6 points per game.

Both the Mississippi State women's basketball team and the Vandy Commodores want to start SEC play strong

Thursday evening presents Mississippi State with a golden opportunity to get SEC play underway with a strong win against a good team. With Vanderbilt and South Carolina holding the Bulldogs' first couple SEC games on the schedule, it's important for Sam Purcell's team to get a strong win at home in a game that is certainly manageable.

For the Bulldogs to hold a solid spot in the SEC standings at the end of the year, it'll be crucial that the Bulldogs can protect their home court. And that starts with protecting home court at the Hump against the Commodores.

A win over Vanderbilt would propel MSU into a fascinating matchup against South Carolina. But the Bulldogs definitely can't be caught looking ahead to USC when a good Vandy team is right there in front of them.