News from MSU Media Relations--Nov. 11

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Basketball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Women's Tennis and Women's Golf.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Both the Mississippi State men's and women's basketball teams open the 2010-11 campaign on Friday, and fans will have the opportunity to see both games for only $5.

Those who purchase a $5 ticket to the women's 4 p.m. showdown against South Carolina Upstate can stay for the men's 7 p.m. outing against Tennessee State. Fans should be aware, however, that the men's game tickets take top priority, meaning individual game ticket holders for the women's game must relocate to a vacant seat for the men's game.

In addition, MSU has announced it will sell $5 individual game tickets for all men's games prior to Thanksgiving at the door the night of the respective games. For all remaining non-conference games after Thanksgiving, those $5 tickets can be purchased in advance through the athletic ticket office.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Now, they count.

One week after its exhibition win against Lindsey Wilson, Mississippi State officially begins its 2010-11 campaign at 7 p.m. on Friday against Ohio Valley Conference foe, Tennessee State.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The Bulldogs, who are coming off a 24-12 campaign and the school's seventh Western Division crown, are 9-3 in season openers under Rick Stansbury and 76-22 all-time. Dating back to the 1985-86 campaign, MSU is 20-5.

"It's always an exciting time," said Stansbury, whose 255 career wins are the most in school history. "We have some question marks, but I know everyone is ready to get out on the court and play."

MSU returns three starters from a year ago but will be without the services of Dee Bost due to an NCAA suspension until SEC play begins on Jan. 8. The other two starters are Ravern Johnson and Kodi Augustus, who totaled 25 and 19 points, respectively, in the 75-66 win against Lindsey Wilson. Augustus also had 10 rebounds for the double-double, and he enters this season with two career double-doubles, both coming last year against Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Johnson is on pace to become the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 points for a career, as the Lyon, Miss., native needs just 32 more to achieve the feat. He's also 103 made 3-pointers away from tying the school record of 280 set last season by Barry Stewart.

"We know Ravern can hit the 3, but there's other things we need him to do, and he's shown he can do those things, too," Stansbury said.

The Bulldogs face a Tennessee State team that posted a 9-23 ledger a year ago under first-year coach John Cooper. The Tigers, based out of Nashville, return three starters from that unit, including guard Jaquan Nobles and forward Robert Covington, who is TSU's top returning scorer from a year ago at 11.5 points. He also led his team with 6.5 rebounds.

Time To Celebrate
Prior to the game, MSU will honor the 2009-10 team that won the Western Division and advanced to the second round of the NIT. Players, coaches, support staff and and administrative officials will receives rings, and the new banner recognizing the feat will be unveiled.

After Friday, the Bulldogs won't play again until Nov. 19 when Appalachian State visits the Hump for a 7 p.m. showdown.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss - On the heels of perhaps its most successful season in school history and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16, the Mississippi State women's basketball team will open up the 2010-11 season Friday afternoon, entertaining USC Upstate at 4 p.m. at the Humphrey Coliseum. The season opener with the Spartans is the first part of a double header that will conclude with the Mississippi State men's basketball team hosting Tennessee State in a 7 p.m. contest.

After the departure of eight seniors a year ago, head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis and the Lady Bulldogs will have a new look this season. Three letterwinners in senior Mary Kathryn Govero, along with juniors Diamber Johnson and Danielle Rector return this season.

Govero, who started all 34 games a year ago, averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 rebounds a game last season. The Clinton, Miss.,-native hit on 74 three-point field goals last season which is the fifth-best mark in school history Johnson, who played in all 34 games last season, averaged 4.1 points while adding 73 assists. In just two years, she has seen action in 66 career games.

USC Upstate, located in Spartanburg, S.C., return three starters from last season's 20-9 team that finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Spartans finished with a 14-6 Conference record in 2009-10. USC Upstate is 65-80 in five years under head coach Tammy George. USC Upstate is led by Preseason A-Sun Player of the Year Chelsea McMillan who averaged 14.2 points and 10.8 rebounds a game last season. Last season's A-Sun Freshman of the Year Tee'Ara Copney returns after averaging 11.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game.

Friday's meeting between Mississippi State and USC Upstate will mark the first on the hardwood for the two programs. The Lady Bulldogs hold an 8-4 mark against Atlantic Sun teams which includes a win last season over East Tennessee State of the Atlantic Sun.

Since Mississippi State's first season opener in 1974, the Lady Bulldogs have cumulated a 24-12 record in season openers. The Lady Bulldogs have won six straight season openers dating back to 2004 and have won eight of its last nine going back to 2001. Also dating back to 1974, the Mississippi State women's basketball team is 34-2 all-time in its home openers. The Lady Bulldogs have not dropped a home opener since 1985, a span of 24 games.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's tennis team is set to conclude their fall season as they travel to Sarasota, Fla. this weekend to compete in the Lakewood Ranch National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships. This will be the first appearance in the Clay Court Championships for the Lady Bulldog Netters.

Travelling this weekend for the Lady Bulldogs will be senior Elizabeth Hall, juniors Mariia Ryzhova and Jordan Zachary, sophomore Danielle Terpko, and freshman Vivian Pietraroia.

Coming off an impressive performance at the ITA Southern Regionals in late October, Hall and Zachary seek to continue their success. In the singles consolation matches, Zachary fought her way to the finals as Hall made her way to semifinals before being ousted by the consolation champion.

Terpko, the Pompano Beach, Fla. native, has experienced her fair share of success this fall season as well. In the Maria Sharapova Draw at the Roberta Allison Fall Classic, Terpko claimed the championship in singles play. She also was able to draw a significant win in the SEC Coaches' Classic.

The tournament hosts both men's and women's teams from across the country and draws will be made late Thursday evening.

The first round of doubles play is set to begin Friday, November 12 at 8 a.m. CT.

Women's Golf
STARKVILLE, MISS. - Just days after finishing a great fall slate, Mississippi State women's golf coach Ginger Brown-Lemm inked Ally McDonald, the 10th-ranked player in the nation.

The Fulton, Miss., native, ranked in the Top 10 of the Polo Golf Rankings, will join the Lady Bulldogs beginning with the 2011-2012 season.

Competing for Mike Nanney on the boys team at Itawamba Agricultural High School, McDonald helped the Indians advance to the state championship tournament three of the last four seasons. She finished fourth individually last season.

McDonald ranks 27th nationally in the Rolex Jr. Rankings, and she was a semifinalist in the USGA Girls Junior Amateur Championship last summer.

"I've always wanted to be a Bulldog," McDonald said. "I look forward to getting to Starkville and my future at MSU."

Brown-Lemm is also anticipating McDonald's arrival at Mississippi State.

"We couldn't be happier to have Ally join us here at MSU," she said. "She is an exceptional young lady, an experienced successful player and her roots run deep with Maroon and White. We cannot wait to have her join the new era of women's golf here at State."

McDonald is the daughter of Jamie and Angie McDonald, and she has one brother, Andrew.

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