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MSU picked eighth in poll; Alwal named first-team All-SEC


From Special Reports



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fresh off a 20-plus win season that ended with an impressive run in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the Mississippi State women's basketball team was picked eighth and senior Martha Alwal was named Preseason All-SEC in a vote of select SEC and national media members that was announced Tuesday morning. 


"It's a great compliment to our four starters returning and the top-20 recruiting class we brought in," MSU coach Vic Schaefer said. "At the end of the day it's not where you start but where you finish. Our challenge now is to not just live up to that but to exceed it. Our line of thinking is to exceed that. I feel that we have improved each year we have been here, and it's another positive step for our program." 


Alwal, a first-team All-SEC selection and the co-defensive player of the year last season, paced the team and rate 12th in the SEC with 14.9 points per game.  


The Worthington, Minnesota, native earned SEC All-Defensive Team laurels after rating third in the league with 8.8 rebounds per game and tops with 2.7 blocked shots per game. 


"It's a well-deserved honor for her after earning first-team All-SEC and co-defensive player of the year last season," Schaefer said. "Now she has to live up to it. The challenge for her is knowing every night the other team is going to try to shut her down." 


Alwal nearly averaged a double-double in SEC games, scoring at a 14.2 clip to go along with a league third-most 9.1 rpg. 


She enters her final season in Maroon & White the SEC's active career leader with 257 blocks, 10th-most in conference history, 824 rebounds and 31 double-doubles. 


Her school-record career blocks tally is second among returning NCAA Division I players. She rates 18th in MSU annals with 1,063 career points.  


MSU will play host to Arkansas-Fort Smith on Nov. 9 in an exhibition game. It will play host to Mercer at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Preseason WNIT at Humphrey Coliseum.



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