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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Men’s, Women’s hoops impressive in openers

Courtesy Photo| MSU Media Relations

Junior point guard I.J. Ready (pictured left) drives in the lane past a couple of Eastern Washington defenders.  Junior guard Dominique Dillingham (pictured right) dribbles  on the wing. 

The men’s and women’s basketball teams of Mississippi State University took the floor for their respective season openers Friday night to lofty expectations. By the night’s end both emerged the vicor against stout competition.  The 11th ranked women’s bastketball team (1-0) dominated Samford University (0-1) with a score of 68-47.  6,463 fans attended the match, which was the second-largest crowd in MSU history. The victory marked the team’s 18th win out of the last 19 home games 

“Hats off to Samford. They played very poised, especially in the second half,” Head coach Vic Schaefer said. “They are well-coached and are always in the top three in their league.”

Dominique Dillingham, named Player of the Game, scored 13 points and snatched 11 rebounds. Schaefer raved about the junior’s performance after the game.

“Dominique was solid. She didn’t shoot it great but she had 11 rebounds for a double-double. I’m glad she’s on my team,” Schaefer said.

Freshman, Jazzmun Holmes scored 12 points along with five steals. The Bulldogs were able to get points from all 11 of thier players who logged minutes in the contest. 

The squad was able to pull out a 21- point victory through a less than stellar shooting night. They shot 32.5 percent on the night and 10 percent from the three point line. The team was also able to pull out the win without the usual output from All-SEC sophomore Victoria Vivians, who got into foul trouble early. Vivians tallied eight points on the night.

Samford fared slightly better than the Bulldogs from the field in a losing effort. The visiting Bulldogs knocked down 42 percent of their shots from the floor with a 38 percent clip from the three point line.

MSU was able to capitalize on the defensive pressure they applied throughout the night, forcing 28 turnovers and scoirng 34 point of those turnovers.

Brittany Stevens led the way for Samford in scoring, tallying 13 total points.

The 11th ranked women’s squad will return to action Nov. 21. They will host Grambling University at 1 p.m.

 The men’s basketball teeam put forth a dominant effort on the night as well, toppling a scrapppy East ern Washington Eagles team 106- 88. It was the most points scored by Mississippi State since playing against Troy in 2011, finishing with 106 points as well.

69 fans short of 10,000 filled the Humprey Coliseum in support of their Bulldogs.

It was the largest crowd since the Mississippi State-Kentucky game in 2012 when 10,211 fans attended.

Howland, former UCLA head basketball coach, coached his first game in two seasons.

‘’I was worried about this game going into it because they were coming off an unbelievable season and are very well-coached,’’ Howland said. ‘’It was a terrible matchup issue for us and you saw that.”

Howland assured media that he was very proud of the determination his team had when the odds were not in their favor.

‘’We were very good in our transition offense,’’ Howland said. ‘’If you look, we had 106 points and I bet we had half of them in transition or 40 percent of them in transition. Gavin Ware was tremendous tonight and kept us in the game in the first half. Gavin gets a double-double and that  was a tremendous game for him tonight.’’ Ware had a career high with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The senior’s effort earned his SEC player of the week honors.

Howland went  on to talk about senior guard I.J. Ready. 

“As good as he was offensively, he was the opposite defensively,” he said. “We gotta get him to play at a high level at both ends.” he told me to get down and play defense. 

Ready stressed about the emphasis Howland had on defense. 

“He told me to get down, to man up and play defense.” I.J. Ready also had a career high having added 25 points with six assists.

The much anticipated freshman, Malik Newman, was not able to play Saturday night due to a preseason toe injury but will be dress out and be on the court for  the Bulldogs next game against Southern University’s Jaguars. Tip off will be at 7 p.m. at the Humphrey Coliseum.

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Men’s, Women’s hoops impressive in openers