MEAC / Spartan Men / Sports

Spartan Women Face No. 8 Mississippi State on Friday

rp_primary_2015MEACTourn_huddleNORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State women’s basketball team (0-4) takes to the road to SEC country as the Spartans face Mississippi State (3-0) on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET in Starkville, Miss. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. Eastern time at Humphrey Coliseum.

NSU is still seeking its first win of the season, while the Lady Bulldogs are a perfect 3-0 and ranked as high as No. 8 in the national polls (No. 8 AP, No. 10 USA Today Coaches Poll). The game can be seen live on the SEC Network+ streaming service at the link at the top of the page and is also available via the Watch ESPN mobile app.

Scouting NSU: NSU fell to 0-4 on the season after an 83-73 loss in Norfolk to Oakland University on Tuesday. The Spartans led 35-33 at the half but Oakland outscored NSU 22-11 in the third quarter and eventually led by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter. The Spartans staged a spirited 16-2 run, getting 14 of those points from Yazmen Hannah, to get within two in the closing minutes. But Oakland shot 79 percent from the free-throw line and 49 percent from the floor to hold on.

Siobhan Beslow and Koryn Lawrence led NSU with 18 points apiece. Hannah added a career-high 17. Beslow (12 rebounds) and Kayla Roberts (10 points, 14 rebounds) both posted double-doubles for the Spartans.

Scouting MSU: Mississippi State improved to 3-0 on the season with an emphatic 109-37 win over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday night in Starkville. Kayla Nevitt scored 20 points off the MSU bench to lead six Lady Bulldogs in double figures. Teiara McCowan chipped in with 17 and LaKaris Salter 15 for MSU, which outrebounded MVSU 55-25 and forced 34 turnovers from the Devilettes.

The Lady Bulldogs went 27-7 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. They have won their three games so far this season by 21, 64 and 72 points. Victoria Vivians paces MSU with 14.7 points per game, leading a balanced attack that has averaged 94.7 points collectively this season.

All-Time Series vs. MSU: NSU has never faced Mississippi State before. This also marks just the Spartans’ second-ever game against an SEC opponent. NSU faced LSU in 1979 during the Spartans’ Division II era. LSU won that meeting 81-48 on Feb. 2, 1979.

Unfamiliar Territory: NSU will be facing its first top-10 ranked team since meeting No. 1 Duke on March 15, 2002 in the Spartans’ lone appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament to date.

Career Nights: Three Spartans enjoyed career outings on Tuesday night. Siobhan Beslow (18) and Yazmen Hannah (17) both notched career highs in scoring, while Koryn Lawrence got the start at point guard and handed out a career-best seven assists.