STARKVILLE, Miss. - "There's No Place Like Home."
That famous quote rings true for the Mississippi State women's basketball team as it returns to Humphrey Coliseum Friday to host Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. in the first of a season-long five-game homestand.
The game will be broadcast on WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3, and live audio and video streams will be available to HailStateTV subscribers at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.
"Florida Atlantic is a talented team that is well-coached and very athletic," head coach Vic Schaefer said. "We will have to be ready to play, and I know our kids will be excited about being back at home."
Schaefer's Bulldog squad has been solid at home, compiling a 3-1 tally. The Bulldogs fell to 3-5 overall on the season after suffering a 61-59 setback to Southern Miss on Saturday in State's first true road test of the campaign.
Sophomore Kendra Grant continued her solid season in Saturday's game, scoring 10 points to lead nine Bulldog scorers.
The Richland, Miss., native has reached double figures in seven of the team's eight games this year. Her 14.6 ppg is the eighth-best average in the SEC and the second-highest tally by a league sophomore.
Classmate Martha Alwal follows Grant in the scoring column, averaging 13.3 ppg. The Worthington, Minn., native's 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest both rank second in the SEC this season.
Alwal swatted three shots against Southern Miss on Saturday, putting her over the 100-block mark for her career. She was also stellar at the free-throw line last week against USM and Savannah State, hitting all four of her attempts to raise her season percentage to a league third-best 89.4 percent.
Carnecia Williams followed a career-best 26-point outing against Savannah State with 9 points against the Lady Eagles. Sherise Williams added 10 and 9 points, respectively, against SSU and USM on 7-of-12 shooting (58.3 percent).
MSU's post players face another challenging task against Florida Atlantic's 6-0 forward Chenise Miller.
Miller has led FAU to a 5-2 overall record and 2-0 Sun Belt mark with her 15.0 ppg and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Takia Brooks paces the backcourt, averaging 12.7 points.Friday's meeting is the first between the two programs, but MSU hopes to continue its success against current Sun Belt schools as it enters the contest having won seven-straight against the league.