Jessy Ward believes she can provide a nice shooting touch for the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
Coach Vic Schaefer believes she can also.
Ward made four out of six shots from 3-point range and had 20 points for both teams combined during Saturday's Maroon-White Scrimmage at Humphrey Coliseum. She was one of the encouraging signs for Schaefer.
Schaefer, who emphasizes defensive play, doesn't want the Lady Bulldogs to lose sight that offense is also important.
"The kids that score are going to make you play them," Schaefer said. "Yes, I like to guard and play defense, but at the end of the day, it's whoever has more points. You get kids that can score, they are going to make you play them. Jessy has had a couple of good days (of practice) lately. We need two guards that can stroke it. It was nice to see Jessy make that one shot in transition."
Ward, a Clarksville, Tenn., native, missed the first three weeks of practice with a pulled hip flexor.
She said it took about a week to get back in synch, but feels fine now and enjoyed the opportunity to scrimmage.
"We got to see what everybody could do," Ward said. "It was a preview for everybody and we got some good work in."
Martha Alwal had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Maroon team, which out-scored the White 79-65. The format for the scrimmage was four 10-minute quarters.
"The good part will be going to watch the film," Schaefer sad. "The film doesn't lie. You might think you are playing real hard, then you go look at the film and you realize you weren't playing as hard as you thought. Execution is nowhere where it needs to be. It was good to see our kids with the lights on thrown into the fire."
The two teams combined for 40 turnovers. The Maroon team shot 48 percent from the field, while the White squad made 32 percent of its shots.
MSU plays its one and only exhibition game Friday against Shorter College at Humphrey Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.