Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Mississippi State women’s basketball will close out its two-game home stand on Sunday when the Bulldogs welcome the Kentucky Wildcats to Humphrey Coliseum. The two teams will square off at noon on SEC Network while honoring Pat Summit in the SEC’s annual ‘We Back Pat’ game.
Mississippi State (14-5, 3-3 SEC) vs. Kentucky (9-9, 1-5 SEC)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 // Time: 12 p.m. CT
Location: Starkville, Miss. (Humphrey Coliseum)
Watch: SEC Network (Talent: Sam Gore & Tamika Catchings)
Listen: MSU Radio Network (Play-By-Play: Jason Crowder)
Numbers To Know
16 • The Bulldogs have recorded 10+ assists in 16 straight games and 18 of 19 games this season. It’s tied for the longest such streak since the 2009-10 season when they did it in 16 consecutive games from Dec. 30, 2009, to Feb. 25, 2010.
86% • The Bulldogs were 12-for-14 (86%) from the free throw line in the 4th quarter against Auburn. Jessika Carter was 4-for-4 from the line while Asianae Johnson was 4-for-6. In the final five minutes of the game, with just a four-point lead, MSU went 9-for-10 at the charity stripe.
50 • Jessika Carter leads the SEC in blocked shots (50) and blocks per game (2.7). She is one of two players in the SEC with 40+ blocked shots. Carter is 11 blocked shots shy of setting a new career high. She had 60 during the 2019-20 season.
19 • Jessika Carter has taken every jump ball for Mississippi State this season. Through 19 games, Carter is a perfect 19-for-19 in the jump ball circle. The Bulldogs have scored on their opening possession six times and have scored first in 10 games.
• Mississippi State and Kentucky will meet for the 54th time in the series’ history. Kentucky holds a 31-22 advantage in head-to-head meetings.
• When the game was played in Starkville, Kentucky leads the series, 11-10.
• The Wildcats enter Sunday on a three-game winning streak over the Bulldogs after winning both meetings last season.
• MSU and UK are 5-5 in the last 10 meetings, with two overtime games. In the last 10 meetings, only five points has separated the two teams on average. State has averaged 76.7 ppg while Kentucky has averaged 71.3 ppg.
Mississippi State Notables
• State has forced their opponents to turn the ball over at least 15 times in 14 games this season. MSU is 11-3 in games where they force at least 15 turnovers.
• Despite going 9-for-18 (50%) from the free throw line in the first three quarters, the Bulldogs were 12-for-14 (86%) in the fourth quarter. In the final frame, Jessika Carter was 4-for-4 from the line while Johnson was 4-for-6.
• In the final five minutes of the game and State with just a four-point lead, MSU went 9-for-10 at the charity stripe.
• Jessika Carter leads the SEC in blocked shots (50) and blocks per game (2.6). Alabama’s Jada Rice joins her as the only two players in the SEC with 40+ blocked shots.
• In conference games only, Carter ranks second behind Aliyah Boston (18) with 14 blocked shots. Boston has played one more game than Carter.
• Jessika ranks 4th in the NCAA in blocked shots and 7th in blocks per game.
• She is 11 blocked shots shy of setting a new career high. She had 60 during the 2019-20 season. • In her career, she has 169 blocked shots. She is 12 shy of cracking the top 3 for career blocks at MSU.
• Carter has two games this season with six blocked shots. Her six blocked shots in a game tie for the 15th most in a single game this season.
• She has recorded 113 defensive rebounds this season and is averaging 5.9 per game, the best mark on the team.
• Carter has also recorded 13 steals and 26 assists on the year
Most Wins By A First Year Head Coach at MSU
Head Coach Sam Purcell earned his 14th career win on Thursday. He is two wins shy of having the most wins by a head coach in their first season at MSU. 15 is the record, held by Novak. No coach has had a winning SEC record in year one.
• Kentucky is the defending SEC Tournament Champions.
• The Wildcats are 1-5 in the SEC but won their most recent contest at Florida, 81-75. Kentucky trailed by 16 points in the second quarter and six points at halftime and only led the game for 10 minutes and 33 seconds. It was their largest comeback in an SEC game in program history.
• Junior guard Maddie Scherr is coming off three straight games scoring at least 18 points including back-to-back games of resetting her career high in both points scored (22 pts, 25 pts) and field goals (10 FG, 10 FG). Meanwhile, both of those 20-plus scoring games came against top-five ranked opponents (LSU, South Carolina). She is the only player in the Southeastern Conference averaging at least 5.0 in at least three statistical categories (10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists). She is also the only player in the SEC that has at least 90 assists and 40 steals.
Mississippi State will be on the road for a pair of games next week. State will travel to Oxford on Thursday to take on Ole Miss in a primetime SEC Contest at 8 p.m. on SEC Network. On Sunday, MSU will travel to Athens, Ga. for a 1 p.m. CT contest against Georgia. Mississippi State’s next home game will be Monday, Feb. 6 against Tennessee at 6 p.m.