|2017-18 Auburn Women's Basketball - Game #27|
|Auburn Tigers (13-13, 4-10 SEC) at #2 Mississippi State Bulldogs (28-0, 14-0 SEC)||Date/Time||Thursday, Feb. 22 | 7 p.m. CT|
|Location||Starkville, Miss. | Humphrey Coliseum (10,575)|
|TV||SEC Network + | Watch Live|
|Radio||WTGZ 93.9 FM (Andy Burcham, J.J. Jackson)|
|Live Audio||TuneIn Radio | AuburnTigers.com|
|Additional Info||Auburn Notes | MSU Notes | SEC Notes|
AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn women's basketball team plays its final road game of the 2017-18 regular season Thursday night when the Tigers travel to Starkville, Miss., to face the No. 2-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Game time is 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Tigers enter the final week of the regular season at 13-13 overall, 4-10 in SEC play. Auburn continues to be one of the league's top defensive squads, leading the SEC in steals and turnovers forced, and boasts the top two players in the league in steals - sophomore Daisa Alexander (2.7/game) and junior Janiah McKay (2.5/game). McKay and Alexander are also Auburn's top two scorers, averaging 16.1 and 13.9 points per game, respectively.
Mississippi State (28-0, 14-0 SEC) clinched its first SEC title on Sunday as they defeated Texas A&M at home. The Bulldogs are one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the nation, along with No. 1 Connecticut. It will be the highest-ranked opponent Auburn has faced since the 2014-15 season when the Tigers played at No. 1 South Carolina. Auburn leads the all-time series 35-20, but State has won the last four meetings.
Andy Burcham and J.J. Jackson will call the action on the radio on WTGZ 93.9 FM with the pregame show beginning at 6:45 p.m. CT; fans can also listen online at AuburnTigers.com and via TuneIn Radio. SEC Network + will have the telecast; fans can watch via WatchESPN.com, SECNetwork.com or the ESPN app for mobile devices.
This is the 56th meeting between Auburn and Mississippi State in women's basketball
Auburn leads the series 35-20, including a 14-12 advantage in Starkville
Mississippi State has won four straight in the series and seven of the last 10
State won last year's meeting 77-47 in Auburn
A victory Thursday would be Auburn's first top-5 win since 1997 and first top-2 win since 1991
Auburn's 10 home wins are the second-most regular-season home victories since moving into Auburn Arena
Auburn is the only team in the SEC that will have played six of the league's top seven teams on the road
Auburn ranks in the top 5 nationally in steals per game (2nd - 13.4) and turnovers forced per game (5th - 23.1)
Auburn leads the SEC in steals (13.4/game) and has the league's top two individuals in steals: Daisa Alexander (1st - 2.7/game) and Janiah McKay (2nd - 2.5/game)
Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy earned her 100th Auburn victory vs. LSU on Feb. 8
Coach Flo is 101-89 in six seasons at Auburn and 244-193 in 14 seasons as a head coach
The Tigers are 6-1 this season and 51-7 under Coach Flo when scoring at least 70 points
Janiah McKay and Unique Thompson each topped 20 points vs. LSU; second time this season for McKay and Thompson to both have 20 in a game (Texas A&M, 1/8)
Sophomore Daisa Alexander and freshman Abigayle Jackson made their first career starts at LSU (1/18)
Alexander's 7 steals at LSU were the most by an Auburn player this season
Freshman Abigayle Jackson scored a career-high 13 points at Texas A&M (2/4)
Auburn set a new school record by hitting 16-of-16 free throws in the first meeting with Texas A&M (1/7)
From the end of the Tennessee game (1/4) into the third quarter of the South Carolina game (1/11), Auburn made 24 consecutive free throws
Five players scored in double figures for Auburn vs. Alabama, the first time for that since 12/29/14 at FIU
Alexander is second on the team with 13.9 points/game; she has scored in double-figures in 22 of 26 games
The Tigers tied a school record for fewest turnovers with 5 vs. Florida on Dec. 31 while forcing the Gators into 28
Auburn has forced at least 20 turnovers in 22 of 26 games this season and 25+ turnovers in nine games
Auburn has won 25 of its last 28 games when forcing at least 25 turnovers (7-2 this season)
Junior point guard Janiah McKay is Auburn's top scorer with 16.1 points/game; she also leads team and ranks fifth in SEC in assists (4.5) and is second in SEC in steals (2.5)
McKay is the SEC's third-leading free-throw shooter at 84.7% (122-of-144)
McKay was 11-of-11 on free throws vs. Texas A&M (1/7), tying an Auburn record held by 3 other players; she made 20 in a row over a four-game stretch from Florida (12/31) through South Carolina (1/11)
McKay scored 25+ points in three straight games (Texas A&M, South Carolina, Arkansas); she is the fourth Auburn player to accomplish that feat in the last 30 years
Freshman Unique Thompson was named SEC Freshman of the Week after her first career double-double (16 pts, 14 rebs) vs. Louisiana Tech (11/19); she had 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime
Thompson has 6 double-doubles this season: LA Tech (16/14), ULL (29/12), Southern (18/10), SE Louisiana (10/11), Arkansas (14/13), Alabama (14/11); only one Auburn player has had more as a freshman (Le'Coe Willingham, 7)
>> Daisa Alexander scored 21 points, but the Auburn women's basketball team came up just short in a back-and-forth battle at Alabama, falling 70-60 at Coleman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
>> In a game that saw the lead change hands 18 times, the Tigers battled foul trouble much of the day and had trouble getting in offensive rhythm with key players on the bench. Alabama, meanwhile, made 25-of-28 free-throw attempts, had 15 more rebounds than Auburn, and finished with a flourish to earn a split in the season series.
>> Alexander's 21 points led all scorers. She hit five 3-pointers in the game, the most by any Auburn player this season, and also led the Tigers with four steals. Unique Thompson added 15 points and four rebounds. Jazmine Jones was Auburn's leading rebounder with five; she also had nine points and a team-best five assists.
>> Auburn out-shot the Crimson Tide, hitting 22-of-57 attempts (38.6%) to Alabama's 20-of-53 (37.7%). But Alabama made it to the free-throw line 28 times, making 25, while Auburn was 9-of-12 at the charity stripe. Alabama also had 43 rebounds to Auburn's 28, including 20 offensive boards that turned into 18 second-chance points for the Tide.
A WIN OVER MISSISSIPPI STATE WOULD...
>> Be Auburn's first win over a ranked opponent this season.
>> Be Auburn's first win over a top-2 opponent since Jan. 19, 1991 (vs. #2 Tennessee).
>> Ensure a .500 regular-season record with Auburn's 14th win.
AUBURN vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE
>> Auburn leads the all-time series with Mississippi State 35-20, including a 14-12 advantage in Starkville.
>> Mississippi State has won the last four meetings and seven of the last 10, including a 77-47 win in Auburn last year.
LAST MEETING (Feb. 2, 2017, in Auburn):
#5 MISSISSIPPI STATE 77, AUBURN 47
>> Auburn got 17 points from Brandy Montgomery and 13 from Katie Frerking, but No. 5/4 Mississippi State pulled away in the fourth quarter to down the Tigers 77-47 at Auburn Arena.
>> The Tigers cut what had been a 21-point first-quarter deficit to as few as six points in the third, but the Bulldogs used a big run over the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters to gain an insurmountable lead.
>> Montgomery's 17 points tied for the game-high with MSU's Victoria Vivians. Jazmine Jones, Erica Sanders and Emari Jones tied for the Auburn lead in rebounds with four apiece, and Khady Dieng contributed three steals.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
>> Mississippi State is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the nation, along with No. 1 Connecticut. The Bulldogs clinched their first SEC Championship on Sunday with a win over Texas A&M.
>> The Bulldogs lead the SEC in scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and turnover margin.
>> Victoria Vivians is MSU's leading scorer with 19.9 points/game. Teaira McCowan averages 18.8 points and leads the SEC with 13.1 rebounds/game.
>> The Bulldogs were national runners-up in 2017, defeating UConn in the Final Four before falling to South Carolina in the national championship game.
>> Auburn is 13-13 on the season, 4-10 SEC, and currently 10th in the SEC standings.
>> The Tigers are scoring 62.6 points per game while holding opponents to 59.0/game, second-best in the SEC. Auburn leads the SEC in steals (13.4/game) and turnovers forced (23.1/game).
>> Junior point guard Janiah McKay has scored in double-figures in 23 of the Tigers' 26 games, including matching a career-high with 29 vs. Louisiana Tech. She is second in the SEC in steals (2.5/game), third in free-throw percentage (84.7%) and fifth in assists (4.5/game).
>> Freshman Unique Thompson has been a breakout star, twice earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors while averaging 11.7 points and 8.6 rebounds. She is fourth among SEC freshmen in scoring and first in rebounding. She has six double-doubles on the season, including three straight vs. ULL, Southern and Southeastern La. She had her best SEC game against Texas A&M with 22 points and 9 rebounds, then followed that up with a double-double against Arkansas (14 points/13 rebounds).
>> Senior forward Jazmine Jones is averaging 5.5 points/game. She had a season-high 9 rebounds in the first meeting with Texas A&M.
>> Sophomore Daisa Alexander has been another breakout star, averaging 13.9 points. She came off the bench for Auburn's first 17 games. She made her first career start at LSU on Jan. 18, scoring 20 points and notching a career-high 7 steals, then scored 22 points at Georgia. Alexander leads the SEC with 2.7 steals/game.
>> Auburn has forced at least 20 turnovers in 21 of 26 games this season and has forced 25 or more nine times (29 vs. LA Tech; 25 vs. Northwestern, 35 vs. ULM; 26 vs. Southern; 31 vs. SE Louisiana; 30 vs. XULA; 28 vs. Florida; 28 at Tennessee; 25 vs. Alabama). The Tigers average 22.3 points per game off opponent turnovers.
>> Auburn closes out the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Ole Miss. It will be Senior Day as the Tigers' five seniors - Jazmine Jones, Jessica Jones, Bria Johnson, Tiffany Lewis and Sira Toure - and senior manager Darryl Cotton will be recognized in a postgame ceremony.