After earning a thrilling double-overtime victory against an in-state foe, Mississippi State continues its WNIT quest as it hosts SEC rival Auburn in the third round Thursday at 7 p.m.
Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for students, and the first 250 Mississippi State students with a valid student ID get in free. Students can enjoy a free dinner, as MSU will give away pizza while supplies last.
Fans can listen to the game in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas on WKBB-FM 100.9 and in Tupelo on WXWX-FM 96.3. Subscribers can also access live video and audio at www.HailState.com/HSTVLive.
Coach Vic Schaefer’s squad enters the matchup 21-13, the fourth-most wins in school history, after claiming the 74-66 win against Southern Miss. The game was State’s fifth overtime game of the year, the most in a season.
“This is an exciting time for us at Mississippi State. We are looking forward to another great challenge. Obviously there is some familiarity with (Auburn). They’ve done a good job in two games against us,” Schaefer said. “They are very talented, long and athletic, and they play very hard defensively, very similar to how hard we play defensively.
“We are excited to have this challenge here at home, and we’re looking forward to another great game and another great crowd.”
Freshman Breanna Richardson scored a career-high 20 points in the contest, while Martha Alwal added her 30th career double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Alwal is averaging a double-double in the WNIT with 16.0 points and 10.0 boards. Richardson paces MSU in the tournament with a 16.5 scoring clip.
Auburn (19-14) downed Old Dominion 82-59 on Monday. Tyrese Tanner scored 24 points in the win and leads the team with 17.2 points a game.
The teams have met twice this season, with Auburn winning both. The Tigers hold a 35-16 lead in the all-time series, but 10 of MSU’s wins have come in Starkville
State is 4-1 in WNIT home games and 11-0 at Humphrey Coliseum in non-conference contests.
Thursday’s winner will advance to the quarterfinals (March 29-31) to face either South Florida or George Washington.