News from MSU Media Relations--Jan. 23

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


Women's Basketball
ATHENS, Ga. - A 13-0 Georgia run midway through the first half created early separation as Mississippi State dropped a 78-58 decision in a Southeastern Conference women's basketball game played Sunday afternoon in the Stegeman Coliseum.

The homestanding and 24th-ranked Bulldogs remain one of two unbeaten teams in league play. Georgia improved to 16-3 overall and 6-0 in league play with a seventh straight victory, while MSU fell to 8-10 and 0-6 with a seventh straight defeat. UGA also snapped a two-game losing streak in the series while winning here for a fifth straight time.

For a third straight contest, the Maroon and White did not have answers on the offensive end. MSU has had a stretch of seven or more minutes without scoring in each of those contests.

After scoring the first five points of the game, MSU still was within striking distance with a 14-13 deficit. From there, the hosts scored the game's next 13 points, as MSU went 7:30 without scoring.

A layup by MSU's Porsha Porter stopped that run, bringing the MSU ladies within 27-15 with 2:26 left in the half.

Georgia ended the opening half on a 9-3 run to take a commanding 40-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The teams traded baskets for the opening stages of the game's final half. A layup by Catina Bett brought MSU within 54-30 with 12:09 left.

This time, MSU went better than three minutes without scoring. The homestanding Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure as a series of transition baskets sparked a 10-0 run. Georgia built a 64-30 advantage with 9:11 left in the contest.

Down 70-35, MSU pieced together a 14-4 run but got no closer than the final deficit the remainder of the way.

For the contest, MSU hit 23 of 70 shots from the field (32.9 percent), 4 of 25 shots from 3-point range (16.0 percent) and 8 of 9 shots from the foul line (88.9 percent). UGA hit 28 of 61 shots from the field (45.9 percent), 4 of 12 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 18 of 25 shots from the foul line (72.0 percent).

UGA held a 46-40 rebounding advantage. MSU had 12 assists and 19 turnovers, while UGA had 16 assists and 18 turnovers.

Mary Kathryn Govero led MSU with 17 points, while Diamber Johnson added 10 points. Ashley Brown just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Georgia received a game-high 17 points from Anne Marie Armstrong. Porsha Phillips had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Also in double figures for the hosts were Khaalidah Miller with 13 points and Ronika Ransford with 12 points.

The Lady Bulldogs remain on the road for a matchup Thursday night with fifth-ranked Tennessee. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT from Thompson-Boling Arena. The MSU-UT contest will be televised regionally by CSS. MSU returns home for Florida at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30.


Women's Tennis
TULSA, Okla. - In just her second match ever as a collegian, Mississippi State rookie Alexandra Perper claimed victory in the top position of the MSU lineup Saturday. Unfortunately, the Lady Bulldog tennis team (0-2) was unable to prove victorious as the 59th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls (1-0) defeated MSU 6-1 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

It was a rapid start in doubles for the Cowgirls as they took down MSU at all positions. On court 3, OSU's tandem of Malika Rose and C.C. Sardinha bested the Lady Bulldog duo of Elizabeth Hall and Danielle Terpko, 8-2. Mississippi State's pair of Perper and Vivian Pietraroia were downed by the same score at the No. 1 position by Nataliya Shatkovskaya and Kanyapat Narattana of Oklahoma State.

The Lady Bulldog duo of Roseline Dion and Mariia Ryzhova fought a hard battle against OSU's pair of Sarah Meghoufel and Leyla Simmons at the No. 2 spot where they found themselves tied at 4 midway through the match. But the Cowgirls eventually claimed an 8-4 win.

TULSA, Okla. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team (0-1) fell in a tough battle Friday night with a 7-0 loss to 32nd-ranked Tulsa (3-0) at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

"Several of our girls were competing in their first intercollegiate dual matches tonight," said Lady Bulldog head coach Daryl Greenan. "I saw a lot of encouraging things, especially from Alexandra (Perper) who just joined the team in early January. Despite tonight's setback, the girls are ready for their next opportunity tomorrow against Oklahoma State."

Tulsa took the early 1-0 lead in doubles action as the Hurricane tandem of Anastasia Erofeeva and Ewa Szatkowska led the charge at the No. 2 position with an 8-1 win over MSU's pair of Roseline Dion and Danielle Terpko. At the third spot, Lady Bulldogs Elizabeth Hall and Vivian Pietraroia were ousted by Tulsa's duo of Bonny Davidson and Michelle Farley, 8-3. MSU's tandem of Alexandra Perper and Mariia Ryzhova battled through a tough match on court one, but were eventually edged 8-6 by JoAnne Karaitiana and Alexandra Kichoutkin of Tulsa.

Action then turned to singles, where the Lady Bulldogs sought a comeback to prove successful in their opening bout. However, the Hurricane proved too strong for MSU as they swept the evening's singles play. On court 5, Farley defeated Pietraroia 6-1, 6-1, while Tulsa's Erofeeva ousted Terpko 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot for a 3-0 lead. From there, MSU's Hall was ousted in the sixth position by Davidson 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the match for Tulsa.

Tulsa's Szatkowska defeated Dion 6-1, 6-4 on court 4. State's Ryzhova battled the 112th-ranked Karaitiana of the Hurricane at the No. 2 spot, falling 6-2, 6-2.

One bright spot for Mississippi State was the freshman Perper, who joined the team just this month. Competing at the #1 position in her first match ever as a Lady Bulldog, Perper took the first set in a hard-fought tiebreaker before Tulsa's Kichoukin rebounded to win in three sets 6-7(6), 6-2, 1-0(2).

Mississippi State makes a quick turnaround as the team will be back in action tomorrow in Tulsa against Oklahoma State. Match time is slated for 2:00 p.m. CT. Live stats will be available through mstateathletics.com.


Men's Tennis
AUBURN, Ala. - Capping off a successful weekend at the Auburn Invitational, the Mississippi State men's tennis team won six of its eight singles matches and three of its four doubles matches today, facing opponents from host-school Auburn.

Over the whole weekend MSU went 20-4 in singles matches and 8-4 in doubles matches, facing opponents from Arkansas, Army and Auburn.

"I thought we played better each day and are taking a step in the right direction as we get ready for our dual matches to begin next weekend," said Coach Per Nilsson, who is in his fourth season at the lead position for the Maroon and White.

State's junior Artem Ilyushin pulled off one of the more impressive victories of the weekend today with a come-from-behind three set win over Auburn's 65th-ranked Tim Hewitt 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Ilyushin improved his win streak to five matches, is a perfect 3-0 in away matches and is an impressive 5-1 in matches against opponents from the Southern Region.

Bulldog junior George Coupland also reeled off an impressive victory with his own come-from-behind three-set win. Coupland took down Auburn's Alex Stamchev, who was ranked 73rd nationally during fall play, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

MSU's Louis Cant, who is No. 60 in the country, defeated Lucas Lopasso of Auburn in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-2. Bulldog newcomer James Chaudry won his third victory at MSU with a straight-set win of his own against the Tigers' Rafael Rondino, 6-0, 7-6(2). State's Antonio Lastre won easily against Liam Gomez of Auburn, 6-3, 6-2, and Bulldog freshman Malte Stropp won, 6-1, 6-3, over Auburn's Daniel Cochrane.

MSU senior Tanner Stump slipped up in a two-set battle to Michael Wardell of Auburn, 6-3, 6-4. State freshman Zach White had his two-match win streak snapped with a, 6-3, 6-2, loss to Auburn's Andreas Mies.

In doubles action Bulldog tandem Cant and Stropp defeated Lopasso and Rondino of Auburn, 8-4. MSU's senior duo Lastre and Stump won their second-straight with an, 8-5, victory against Auburn's Gomez and Michel Monteiro. Playing with each other for the first time, State's Ilyushin and White easily took down Cochrane and Mies of Auburn, 8-2. Also playing with each other for the first time, MSU's Chaudry and Coupland lost to Auburn's Tim Puetz and Stamchev, who were ranked fifth nationally in the fall, 8-5.

"George (Coupland) and Artem (Ilyushin) winning after losing the first set was good to see," Nilsson said. "We're going to work on starting off a little better in our matches in the future."

With the Auburn Invitational, the Bulldogs closed the door on tournament play and now turn their focus to dual match play. MSU, which is currently ranked 41st nationally, will travel to Texas A&M next weekend and participate in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The 41st-ranked Bulldogs will square off against No. 10 nationally ranked Texas A&M on Saturday, Jan. 29, and depending on the outcome of the match will face either 31st-ranked Arizona or 44th-ranked Miami the following day.

AUBURN, Ala. - Winning all eight of its singles matches and all four of the doubles matches the Mississippi State men's tennis team posted a perfect day two at the Auburn Invitational which was played at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala.

Playing opponents from Army the Bulldog tennis squad won all eight of its singles matches in straight sets. 60th ranked junior Louis Cant of MSU won his second-straight match by taking down Donald Van Velzer of Army, 6-3, 6-0. MSU's newcomer James Chaudry snapped a two-match skid and won his second-career match as a Bulldog by defeating Army's Henry Jang-Milsten, 6-2, 6-1. State's George Coupland claimed his 25th career win as a Bulldog by winning, 6-1, 6-2, over Rashad Shelton of Army. Artem Ilyushin of MSU claimed his third-straight victory taking down Army's Tripp Johnson, 6-0, 6-3.Bulldog senior Antonio Lastre who recently eclipsed 50 career wins defeated Alex Holland of Army, 6-1, 6-4. State freshman Malte Stropp extending his team-leading singles wins to seven with an identical-set victory, 6-2, 6-2, over Aika Isoh of Army. MSU senior Tanner Stump snapped a three-match losing streak and won easily over Army's Andrew Clark, 6-1, 6-0. Bulldog true freshman Zach White defeated Rommel Verano of Army, 6-0, 6-2, to claim his fifth victory of the season for the Maroon and White.

In doubles action, MSU didn't let up as the Bulldogs were led by 53rd-ranked duo Coupland and Ilyushin who claimed their 25th-career win as a doubles team and snapped a two-match skid with an 8-1 handling of Army's Isoh and Johnson. State's tandem of Chaudry and White defeated Velzer and Jang-Milsten of Army, 8-2. Cant and Stropp of State won, 8-2, as well by taking down Army's Holland and Verano. MSU's senior duo Lastre and Stump beat Army's Clark and Shelton, 8-5, to lead MSU to the sweep in doubles.

MSU will return to the courts on Sunday and conclude action at the Auburn Invitational. State will square off against opponents from host-school and SEC-foe Auburn at 1 p.m. CT. Live stats will be made available during the match and results will be posted following the match at www.mstateathletics.com.


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