A No. 10 ranking wasn’t stopping the Mississippi State Bulldogs from being on upset alert on Thursday night at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks have been one of the country’s top scoring teams and the Bulldogs have struggled to defend the 3-point line of late with 24 made shots from long distance in the last three games. Add in the fact that leading scorer Rickea Jackson was questionable in the game with strep throat and a second-straight loss was very much a possibility.
Enter a player that Bulldog head coach Vic Schaefer called his secret weapon.
Freshman guard Aliyah Matharu drew the start having played 36 minutes total in the last six games. She played 38 minutes on Thursday night, dropped 18 points and helped the Bulldogs take control in a 92-83 victory over Arkansas.
“She does not lack confidence,” Schaefer said. “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster and there’s no guarantee what she’s going to do Sunday, but she just really played well. I’m so proud of her.”
For more on MSU's victory, see Friday's Starkville Daily News.