Lady Bulldogs open season in AP top ten

Lady Bulldogs open season in AP top ten
SOURCE: Mississippi State Athletics (Source: Mississippi State Athletics)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State women’s basketball team retained its reputation as one of the top teams in the country heading into the 2019-20 season, being tabbed No. 10 in the Associated Press’ Preseason Top 25 Poll.

Dating back to Nov. 24, 2014, the Bulldogs have now spent 95 consecutive weeks inside the AP Top 25, marking the longest streak in program history. During the stretch, State has been ranked inside the top 10 for 59 straight weeks, a streak that is active heading into this season. This is the fifth consecutive season that MSU has started the season ranked inside the top 25 and just the eighth time overall in program history.

Mississippi State is coming off a 2018-19 campaign that saw the Bulldogs post a 15-1 conference record to clinch the second title in program history. State followed that up by winning the team's first ever SEC Tournament Championship with a commanding 101-70 victory over Arkansas and then earning a third straight Elite Eight appearance.

The Bulldogs enter the 2019-20 season with their sights set on a third consecutive SEC title, a feat that no program has accomplished outright since 2001-04. The squad is led by graduate guard Jordan Danberry, who ranked third on the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and second in assists (125) and steals (65) after starting all 36 games a year ago. She’s joined by juniors Chloe Bibby and Andra Espinoza-Hunter as MSU’s returning starters.

Jessika Carter, Myah Taylor and Xaria Wiggins were all contributors last season and will be relied on heavily throughout the year. Promise Taylor, who made the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2018, is able to play this year after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Schaefer and his staff also signed the highest-rated class in program history with four top-100 players and also added a pair of transfers to help replace one the best senior classes in program history from last year.

Mississippi State hosts defending Division II national champion Lubbock Christian on Nov. 4 for an exhibition before officially opening its 2019-20 campaign at home on Nov. 9 against Southern Miss.

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