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NCAAW Preview: National spotlight on No. 4 South Carolina and No. 21 Mississippi State

The No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks head to Starkville to play the No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs on ESPN. The Bulldogs have been reeling as of late while the Gamecocks look like national title contenders.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 08 SEC Women’s Tournament - Mississippi State vs South Carolina
Zia Cooke leads the Gamecocks into a tough game against Mississippi State.
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road to play the No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bulldogs have lost three of their last five, suffering losses in their last two games. The Gamecocks have suffered just one defeat all season and are coming off a narrow road victory over LSU on Sunday.

The Gamecocks feature players that can score the ball with ease. Zia Cooke has reached double figures in scoring in 10 of 13 games this season and is the team’s leading scorer so far. Aliyah Boston is averaging 14.8 points and 11.3 rebounds and has a streak of seven games with 10-plus rebounds. Destanni Henderson leads the team with three 20-point games, averaging 5.9 assists and 5.6 rebounds to go with 12.5 points. Victaria Saxton has taken to her role as a starter with 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.

The Bulldogs are led by an outstanding pair of post players. Rickea Jackson is scoring 15.8 points and is shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc. Jessika Carter is averaging 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds. Mississippi State also has some outside threats that will draw the attention of South Carolina’s defense: Myah Taylor (38 percent), Aliyah Matharu (36 percent) and Sidney Cooks (35 percent).

Here’s what to expect from the matchup and how to watch:

Game Information

No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks (12-1, 7-0 SEC) vs. No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, 3-3 SEC)

When: Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS

How to watch/listen: ESPN/Radio: Mississippi State Radio or Gamecock All Access

What to watch: The Bulldogs and the Gamecocks are not great 3-point shooting teams but the Bulldogs take 19 triples per game, making around seven of them compared to around five makes for the Gamecocks. Rebounding and rim defense favor South Carolina, so Mississippi State fans will hope that their shooters are able to create space for their post players.