Rickea Jackson

Mississippi State’s Rickea Jackson

STARKVILLE After losing its fifth-straight game on Sunday afternoon, Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson just wants her team to relax.

Mississippi State (8-7, 3-6 in SEC) has only played three games in the last 35 days, but the Bulldogs have lost five in a row dating back to Jan. 14. Those losses have come at the hands of Alabama twice, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Arkansas.

The latest came Sunday, a 71-63 loss to Alabama where Mississippi State found itself down by almost 20 points late in the second half.

Mississippi State will try to break that losing streak tonight at home against Auburn (5-15, 0-12) at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

“For us, we need games and the more we can figure out a way to win these games, the better,” McCray-Penson said after the loss to Alabama. “That’s what we need. When I went into halftime, I put one word on the board and it was ‘Relax.’

“Our kids, they want to win. We just have to relax and we have to play. We have to guard and stick to the scout.”

The Bulldogs had three games postponed last week due to inclement weather and travel conditions. One of those games was the Auburn matchup, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 18.

McCray-Penson will get her wish for more games. Starting with Sunday’s loss to Alabama, MSU has four games scheduled in a seven-day span. It’s not yet clear if the Ole Miss and Tennessee games that were postponed will be rescheduled.

Dating back to non-conference play, Auburn has lost 13- consecutive games and is the only winless team in the SEC – not including Vanderbilt which canceled its season at 0-3 due to COVID.

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