Mississippi State

Bulldogs women to host Vanderbilt in SEC conference opener

Credit: Mississippi State Athletics

Mississippi State women’s basketball opens its Southeastern Conference schedule when it hosts Vanderbilt inside Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Mississippi State enters its conference schedule with a 13-2 overall record and a five-game winning streak. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 32 in the NET Rankings, while the Commodores check in at 58.

Vanderbilt is 13-1 on the season in its third season under head coach Shea Ralph and has already surpassed its win total from last season. The start for the Commodores also ties the program’s best start heading into SEC play.

The Commodores are led by graduate student guard Jordyn Cambridge, who is currently averaging 14.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.6 steals per game. Her steals average leads the SEC and ranks second nationally.

Vanderbilt leads the all-time series 36-24; however, Mississippi State leads 15-11 inside Humphrey Coliseum and the Bulldogs have won nine straight in the series.

Mississippi State went 9-7 in regular-season SEC action in 2022-23. With the nine victories, head coach Sam Purcell earned the most SEC wins by a Mississippi State head coach in their debut season and almost doubling the previous record of five.

Mississippi State has won eight of its last 11 conference openers, including defeating Vanderbilt 72-44 on the road inside Memorial Gymnasium in Purcell’s SEC debut on Dec. 29, 2022. It is the sixth time overall and the second straight season that Mississippi State has opened conference play with Vanderbilt. Mississippi State concluded its regular season conference slate 8-3 overall and 6-0 at home last season.

Graduate student center Jessika Carter turned in one of her 34 career double-doubles with 21 points on 9-11 from the field with 10 rebounds and two blocks in last season’s win over the Commodores. The 34 career double-doubles for Carter ranks second among active SEC players and fourth in program history. Mississippi State is 6-0 this season and 16-0 overall under Purcell when Carter records a double-double.

The Southeastern Conference announced on Tuesday that senior guard Darrione Rogers has been named SEC Player of the Week and freshman forward/center Quanirah Montague was voted Co-Freshman of the Week. Rogers collected the conference’s top weekly award after posting Mississippi State’s first triple-double since Dec. 16, 2000 with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes, while Montague earned the honors after posting her first career double-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 23 minutes. It marks the third-straight week that Mississippi State has had a player selected for the SEC Player of the Week after graduate student guard Lauren Park-Lane was named SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 26 and graduate student center Jessika Carter was named SEC Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 19.

With the latest three selections, it stands as the first time in SEC women’s basketball history that any school has had three different players selected for Player of the Week honors in three straight weeks.

It also marks the first time since Jordan Danberry on Jan. 8 and Teaaira McCowan on both Jan. 15 and Jan. 22 of the 2018-19 season that Mississippi State has a selection in three straight weeks. Mississippi State and South Carolina remain the only SEC schools to have players named in back-to-back weeks this season. The SEC Freshman of the Week selection for Montague is her first and the first by a Mississippi State player since Denae Carter on Jan. 11, 2022. Mississippi State will face the other Co-Freshman of the Week in Vanderbilt’s Khamil Pierre on Thursday.

Mississippi State closes out the week with a trip to take on No. 1 South Carolina in a national matchup on ESPN at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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