STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State opens the Vic Schaefer era of women's basketball Friday night as the Bulldogs host Shorter in a 7 p.m. exhibition game at Humphrey Coliseum.
Admission is free, and HailStateTV subscribers can watch the game online at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.
Mississippi State returns nine letterwinners and two starters - sophomores Kendra Grant and Martha Alwal - from last year's team.
Grant, a Richland, Miss., native, tops MSU's returning scoring. A starter in all 30 games as a freshman, Grant averaged 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest while knocking down a team-high 41 three-pointers.
Alwal was tabbed Freshman All-SEC last season after pacing the SEC and rating 16th nationally with 82 blocked shots. The Worthington, Minn., native paced Mississippi State on the backboards last season, pulling down 7.2 per game to go along with 5.4 points per contest.
The Bulldogs meet a Shorter squad that is playing its first season at the NCAA Division II level as part of the Gulf South Conference.
In their last season at the NAIA level, the Lady Hawks advanced to the national tournament en route to a 28-7 record.
Shorter, however, brings back only three players from that squad. The Lady Hawks' top returnee is Shelby Farrar, who scored 7.1 ppg and ranked second on the squad with 6.3 rebounds per contest. She also rated second on the team in blocks with 37.Mississippi State officially kicks off the 2012-13 season Nov. 9, hosting Houston in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.