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February 17, 2013

LSU preview

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State supports the fight against breast cancer Sunday as it hosts LSU in its annual "Think Pink" game. Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 12:30 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to support the cause by wearing pink to the game. The first 750 in attendance will receive a free "Think Pink" T-shirt from Oktibbeha County Hospital's Center for Breast Health and Imaging.

"It's a disease that has affected many people. This is a great cause, one that we embrace and support here," head coach Vic Schaefer said. "We're looking forward to not only doing our part to support the fight against breast cancer, but also to a competitive game against LSU."

Sunday's game will be televised regionally on SportSouth. The contest will also be streamed on ESPN3 outside the SEC footprint. WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3 will provide the radio broadcast for the SEC showdown, and HailStateTV subscribers can listen to the live audio at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.

Mississippi State enters the contest 11-13 overall and 3-8 in SEC play after having a two-game win streak halted with a tough 65-51 setback at Ole Miss on Thursday.

"You find out what you're made of after games like Thursday night. I was disappointed with our second half effort," Schaefer said. "You find out the character of your team with how they bounce back, and you find out the character of your players by what they do in the practices leading up to the next game. We've had some instances where we haven't had some good ballgames, but we bounced back in that next game and played very well. I'm anxious to see how we handle the adversity of not playing well in the second half on the road in a game we should have won."

The Bulldogs will try to bounce back against an LSU squad that comes to Starkville 14-10 overall, 5-6 in league action.

The Lady Tigers had an open date Thursday following a 62-54 upset of No. 9 Georgia last Sunday.

Sunday's matchup is the second of the season between the two teams. LSU won the first meeting 62-42 in Baton Rouge on Jan. 13.

The game will feature two of the SEC's top post players in MSU's Martha Alwal and LSU's Theresa Plaisance.

Alwal recorded her SEC-leading 13th double-double Thursday night with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Ole Miss. Thursday's performance kept the Worthington, Minn., native atop the MSU scoring lead with a 12.5 average. She leads the SEC in rebounding at 10.0 per game and rates second behind Plaisance in blocks with 2.4 an outing.

Plaisance is also the SEC's leading scorer with 17.8 ppg.

Mississippi State will also look for another big contribution from sophomore Kendra Grant. The Richland, Miss., product paced the Bulldogs in Oxford, scoring 16 points to raise her season average to 12.4 ppg.

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