Mississippi State sophomore Kendra Grant, left, listens closely to the instruction of head coach Vic Schaefer. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
There was a measure of confidence growing within members of the Mississippi State women's basketball team with wins over Ole Miss, Arkansas and Missouri.
Bulldog head coach Vic Schaefer wants his team to start moving back in that direction.
During last Sunday's loss to LSU, Schaefer saw some of his players drop their head and said after the game that can not happen.
"We need to get back to what we were doing, (which is) having the chemistry that we had and enjoy playing the game," Schaefer said.
Mississippi State gets another opportunity to pick up a win in Southeastern Conference play tonight when it hosts Alabama. The tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.
With back-to-back losses to Ole Miss and LSU, the Bulldogs stand 11-14 overall and 3-9 in SEC action.
Sophomore Kendra Grant said MSU needs to get its focus back.
"In the first Ole Miss game, the Arkansas game and the Missouri game, we were all on the same page and connected," Grant said. "I won't say we lost it, but we're not where we were. We need to get that focus back. We need to practice hard because how we practice is how we play."
Grant leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 12.2 points per game, while fellow sophomore Martha Alwal is close behind at 12 points per outing. Alwal leads the SEC with 13 double-doubles and 15 double-digit rebounding games.
The Crimson Tide stands 12-13 overall and 2-10 in the league.
Alabama brings an up-tempo style to Starkville and Schaefer said that could cause some problems if MSU isn't prepared for it.
"We've had trouble with that," Schaefer said about a faster pace. "That's been an Achilles for us. Rebounding and transition defense has been a problem all year. (Alabama) has tremendous talent on their roster. I've known Wendell (Hudson) for a long time and have known him since his junior college days. It will be a tremendous challenge for us. With us, them and Auburn, we're playing to get out of that first night of play at the SEC Tournament, so I'm sure it will be hotly-contested."
Alabama is led in scoring by Daisha Simmons, who averages 13.1 points per game.
It will be Residence Life Night at tonight's game with the first 100 students attending to receive free HailState Hoops basketballs.
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