STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Fans had an exciting first look at the 2018-19 Mississippi State women’s basketball team as it hosted its Maroon-White Scrimmage in front of a lively crowd at Humphrey Coliseum Tuesday night.
The preseason SEC favorite Bulldogs scrimmaged against each other for two quarters before combining to take on the men’s practice squad for three quarters.
Andra Espinoza-Hunter tallied 29 points on the night, draining 10-of-17 shots from the field, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range.
Teaira McCowan, the preseason pick for SEC Player of the Year, did what she has done all season: collecting a double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds.
Freshman Xaria Wiggins also impressed the fans, putting in 17 points behind 63.6-percent shooting. Another newcomer, Anriel Howard, just missed a double-double as she hauled down nine boards to go with 13 points. Seniors Jordan Danberry and Jazzmun Holmes also contributed 13 points each.
“It was good to see us out competing,” Vic Schaefer said. “We had some young kids play really well at times on offense. Jessika (Carter), Xaria and Andra really had some stretches where they did some nice things.
“Anriel is still trying to get comfortable, but she always plays hard and rebounds hard. She’s only been with us for a short time, so she’s trying to find her way and she will. I’m very happy with how hard she plays, and I love the smile on her face and how eager she is to go out and compete.”
In the opening 20 minutes of Maroon against White, Espinoza-Hunter led White to a 55-37 edge with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field and 5-for-5 from the 3-point line. Wiggins added 12 points while McCowan capped a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Danberry sparked the Maroon squad with 11 points. Howard followed with nine, while Chloe Bibby and Zion Campbell added seven and six points each.
Mississippi State hosts NCAA Division II National Champion Central Missouri in a 6 p.m. exhibition on Nov. 2. The Bulldogs officially open the 2018-19 campaign in The Hump Nov. 6 against Southeast Missouri State.