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November 16, 2012Mississippi State closes a season-opening, three-game homestand Friday night as it hosts Louisiana Tech in women's basketball action at Humphrey Coliseum. Tip for the contest is set for 7 p.m.
Friday's game can be heard on WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3. HailStateTV subscribers can get live audio and video at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.
Coach Vic Schaefer's squad enters the contest 1-1 on the season following a tough 56-48 setback to Hampton on Monday.
Sophomore Martha Alwal paced the Bulldogs for the second-straight game, scoring 13 points and coming one rebound shy of a second-straight double-double.
On the season, Alwal is tied for sixth in the SEC in scoring with an 18.0 average. Her 13.5 rebounds per contest are tied for second in the league, while her 5.5 blocks are tied for the top spot.
The Worthington, Minn., native has been stellar from the free-throw line, hitting 20-of-22 for an SEC second-best 90.9 percentage.
Fellow sophomore Kendra Grant has also started the season on a strong note. Grant reached double-figures for the second-straight game as she netted 11 against the Lady Pirates.
The Richland, Miss., native scored a career-best 22 points in a season-opening win against Houston to rate ninth in the SEC with a 16.5 scoring average.
Grant has also been solid behind the 3-point line, hitting 3-of-4 for 75 percent.
Darriel Gaynor, State's lone senior, will look to have another solid outing after she poured in 10 points, eight during a 10-0 second-half run, against Hampton on Monday. Gaynor is averaging 9.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in her Bulldog swan song.
The Las Vegas native has been solid at the free-throw line, knocking down all but one of her seven attempts. As a team, Mississippi State is shooting at a 75.4-percent clip from the charity stripe, the best mark in the conference.
The Bulldogs have also been solid on defense early in the season, holding opponents to 32.8-percent from the field, the second-lowest percentage in the conference.
Schaefer's squad looks to continue that stellar defense against a Louisiana Tech squad that comes to Starkville 0-2 on the year.
The Lady Techsters are shooting 39.4-percent as a team, and have averaged 58.5 points in setbacks to Tulane and South Carolina.
Tavasha Anderson leads the way offensively, averaging 12.0 ppg. Brittany Lewis tops the team in rebounding with 6.5 per contest.
Friday's meeting will be the 12th between the two squads, with Louisiana Tech holding a slim 7-5 advantage. Mississippi State has had a slight upper hand at home, though, claiming three of the five games at the Hump.
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