Let us begin today's effort with a question: If I had told you five years ago that Mississippi State's women's basketball team would one day defeat Tennessee by 28 points before more than 10,000 fans at The Hump, what would you have said? Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick believes the Bulldogs are as unsafe a team as there is in women's basketball. This was the worst SEC defeat in Tennessee history. Kentucky, meanwhile, was 15-3, and 4-1 in the SEC after a somewhat shaky start in league play. It was as if State switched to a gear Tennessee did not possess.
Now, the model has studied the Kentucky vs. Mississippi State spread from every angle and crunched the numbers. A win over a top-5 surging United Kingdom team could knock them back on a collision course for the upper tier of the SEC - and give a boost to their NCAA Tournament resume.
Schaefer said the bye gave the Bulldogs more time to work on fundamentals and to catch their breath so they can finish strong. State swarmed the Vols, just annihilated them over the last 19 minutes.
Tennessee had bounced back from a six-game losing streak to win its past three games heading into Mississippi State. This day, there was a smattering of orange in the crowd that mostly wore pink for "Think Pink Day" to acknowledge the fight against breast cancer.
"He doesn't go get rebounds, doesn't get loose balls, missed one-footers, missed free throws".
Looking at Mississippi State's recent games, they're scoring pretty well with at least 79 in each of their last four. Holmes had seven points, eight assists and one turnover against the Lady Vols. Sophomores Bre'Amber Scott, with 13 points, and Andra Espinoza-Hunter, a transfer from UConn who had 11 points, also helped the perimeter attack.
The Bulldogs are 10-2 at home this season and are a team loaded with upperclassmen like senior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who's averaging 18 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. It appeared Danberry could go around the person guarding her any time she wanted.
She appeared so fast, I had to ask her if she ever ran track.
Yes, she answered, she ran the 100, the 200 and the hurdles in high school.
Zaay Green had 13 for the Lady Vols (15-8, 4-6), who were without leading scorer Evina Westbrook because of a violation of team rules. McCowan followed with a basket for an 86-57 lead. Mississippi State rallied to close the quarter with a 61-49 advantage.
"I'm very proud of my team", MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. In between the third and fourth quarters, we talked about wanting to come out and punch in the first five minutes.
Tennessee has played national powers Notre Dame and Stanford and Warlick said State compares favorably with either one.
After seeing Davis mired in a four-game slump, she has reemerged as a go-to player, firing in 24, 19 and 17 points in the past three games, all victories. "They grind it out, they're competitors and I don't see any reason they can't compete for a championship". He said it is good to "slow down" and to "simplify" some things they have done so spacing and shot selection can improve.