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Bulldogs Hit Road To Challenge No. 15 South Carolina Sunday

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Kendra Grant paced MSU with 15 points in the season's first meeting with South Carolina.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Following a dominating performance on Thursday, Mississippi State looks to continue its winning ways as it travels to the Palmetto State for a Sunday showdown with No. 15 South Carolina.

Tip is set for 2 p.m. CT at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.

The game will be broadcast on WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3, and live audio for HailStateTV subscribers will be available at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.

The Bulldogs look to keep the momentum going following one of their best performances of the season in a 75-51 home victory against Alabama. With the win, Coach Vic Schaefer's squad improved to 12-14 overall, 4-9 in SEC play.

The Maroon and White dominated the low post, holding a 38-18 scoring advantage in the paint. Carnecia Williams paced MSU with 25 points, one shy of her career high. Martha Alwal added her league-best 14th double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and she also blocked a season-best eight shots.

South Carolina sits in fifth place in the conference standings with a 21-5 overall record and a 9-4 mark in league contests. The Gamecocks snapped a two-game losing streak last Sunday with a 62-47 win at Ole Miss.

Ashley Bruner recorded a double-double for Coach Dawn Staley's squad with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Tiffany Mitchell also tallied 15 points for USC.

"Dawn has done a great job at South Carolina. They are talented, athletic, big and physical - everything an SEC team is supposed to be," Schaefer said. "She's built that program like we are trying to do here at Mississippi State."

Mississippi State looks to avenge an early season loss to the Gamecocks. South Carolina won a 60-46 contest in Starkville on Jan. 6.

In that contest, sophomores Kendra Grant and Jerica James combined for 15 and 14 points, respectively, but the Bulldogs were unable to overcome the Gamecocks converting 32-of-50 attempts at the free-throw line.

"We have to go in there and execute and not turn it over," Schaefer said. "We have to try and handle them better than we did the first game. We put them on the line way too much the first time."

Historically, the Bulldogs hold a 16-12 lead in the all-time series. MSU won four-straight over the Gamecocks from 2008-2010 before dropping the last three meetings.

Alwal and Grant lead the Maroon and White scoring attack with 12.2 points an outing. Williams has paced the Bulldogs in scoring in each of the last two games.

Aleighsa Welch paces USC with 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per outing.

South Carolina boasts the conference's top scoring defense and the fourth-best nationally, allowing just 49.0 points a game.

The battle on the boards could be very important, as this matchup pits Alwal, the second-leading rebounder in the SEC, against a Gamecock post presence that leads the league in offensive rebounds.

Following Sunday's clash, MSU returns to Starkville for their final home game of the regular season as they host Georgia at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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