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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Mississippi State women’s hoops secure No. 2 seed in WBIT

Haylee Morman

Coach Sam Purcell and the Mississippi State University women’s basketball team will not be going “dancing” this season. After an incredible start to Purcell’s second season as the women’s basketball coach, the lady Bulldogs did not make it to the NCAA tournament.

Purcell led the team to an 8-0 start before tragedy struck the Bulldogs with losses to Miami and UT Chattanooga. Conference play began, and the Bulldogs acclimated to a 2-3 start with losses against Tennessee and Vanderbilt before gaining momentum with wins at Ole Miss and Arkansas. The Bulldogs continued to dominate when Mississippi State played Florida and ended up scoring 89 points for the win.

Fans became ecstatic as they continued to watch Mississippi State climb to new heights as the defending national champions in LSU came to Humphrey Coliseum and were knocked down by the Bulldogs. Mississippi State fans “showed up and showed out” for this game. The Hump was sold out, and the building was rocking with excitement. The Bulldogs pulled away that night with a win, and it seemed like the Bulldogs were on track to make a strong push for the NCAA tournament.

However, their rising empire began to fall shortly after. Mississippi State lost to Florida by 20 points three games after LSU. This loss started a five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs that seemed to discourage the team and caused them look lifeless on the court. The loss against rival Ole Miss struck the Bulldogs hard. This game was well within Mississippi State’s grasp and marked the first loss when Mississippi State was leading with five minutes to go.

After this 5-loss streak, MSU ended their season with a win on senior night versus Missouri. Fans were hoping this win would push the Bulldogs to do well in the SEC Tournament, but those hopes were put to rest when Texas A&M cruised to an easy win and kicked Mississippi State out of the tournament.

This loss ultimately led to the exclusion of Mississippi State from the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Though the Bulldogs will not play in the NCAA Tournament, they will get to enjoy post-season play in the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament (WBIT).

The WBIT is a new tournament formed by the NCAA that ranks below the NCAA tournament but above the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). The first four left out of the NCAA Tournament are given bids to the WBIT, plus any conference regular-season champions that did not make the NCAA Tournament. The remaining spots in the 32-team field are determined by a selection committee.

Mississippi State is the No. 2 seed in the WBIT and will host Georgia Tech in Humphrey Coliseum Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT. This will mark the sixth meeting between Georgia Tech’s and Mississippi State’s women’s teams, with this game being the first since 2007. Mississippi State leads the series 4-1 and looks to extend that lead. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.


About the Contributor
Noah McCord
Noah McCord, Sports Editor
Noah McCord is a sophomore aerospace engineering major. He currently serves as the Sports Editor. [email protected]
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