3 Washington vs. 2 Mississippi St.
Oklahoma City, OK “Our kids are fired up to be here.” Washington Lady Huskies coach Mike Neighbors told everyone during the Oklahoma City Regional press conference on Thursday. Neighbors was relaxed as he took questions. “I hope our diehard Seattle Sonics fans will forgive us for going to the Thunder game last night, we had a great time getting here. Kids are settled in and we’re ready for practice.” Neighbors said with a tongue in cheek reference to playing in the building the Oklahoma City Thunder, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics now call home.
The Huskies have the nation’s leading scorer senior guard Kelsey Plum in their arsenal. Plum averages 3.8 points per game. She’s dropped 67 points so far in the tournament. Plum scored 38 against Oklahoma on 21-of-21 shooting (6-9 on 3-pointers) with 11 assists.
“I’m awfully proud of my team and excited about the opportunity to be here in Oklahoma City at the Sweet 16.” Mississippi St. coach Vic Schaefer said.
Blair Schaefer lead the Lady Bulldogs in scoring against DePaul with a team-high 18 points, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Five other MSU players hit double figures in the win.
While the argument can be made that Washington’s chances on advancing rise and fall on Kelsey Plum’s game Mississippi St. has more depth. Blair Schaefer was asked about Friday night’s matchup, ” I feel like you have to adapt, depending on what each team brings, and Washington brings Plum, who obviously can do everything and (Chantel) Osahor who is a great three-point shooter but she is also a post and leading rebounder in the country. So, I feel like we have to do our job on trying to stop those two.”