MSU Women Host LSU Thursday Night

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State rings in 2012 and the Southeastern Conference schedule Thursday as the Lady Bulldogs host LSU in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.

Thursday's game will be broadcast on WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3. The contest will also be broadcast via live video and audio to Maroon to the Max subscribers.

Fans can follow Mississippi State women's hoops during the season on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis' squad returns to the friendly confines of the Hump 10-3 overall following a two-game split at the Peppermill Holiday Classic in Reno, Nev.

The Lady Bulldogs will be opening league action at the Hump for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Senior Diamber Johnson looks to extend her stellar campaign into the conference slate. The Pontotoc, Miss., native raised her SEC-leading scoring average to 18.3 ppg last weekend, notching 18 points against Oklahoma State and a team-high 23 in the win against Nevada.

Johnson enters the conference stretch 150 points away from reaching 1,000 for her career. She became the eighth player in school history to notch 800 points and 300 assists as she dished out seven passes in Nevada. Johnson, who is third in the SEC with 4.6 apg, tied Jennifer Fambrough for ninth on the school's career assists chart.

Fellow senior Porsha Porter also had a solid conclusion to the non-conference slate, notching 19 points in each game of the Peppermill Classic to earn all-tournament honors. The Chicago native is tied for fourth in the conference in scoring with a 15.3 average, but in the last five games she has shot 50.8-percent from the floor and 44-percent from three-point range while averaging a team-high 19.8 ppg.

Porter has also been stellar defensively for the Lady Bulldogs, tying for the SEC lead in steals with 3.7 per contest.

Thursday's showdown should be a defensive battle, as it features the conference's top-two squads in field goal percentage defense. Mississippi State has held foes to 33.7-percent shooting this season, second only to LSU, who has limited opposition to 30.9-percent.

Mississippi State has been even better defending the three-point basket, rating second in the league with a 24.3-percent defense.

The Lady Bulldogs will need to continue that defensive intensity as it meets an LSU squad that has won seven-straight games to improve to 10-3 overall. The Lady Tigers will be making their second trek to the Magnolia State in four days, as they opened league action with an 83-44 victory at Ole Miss last Sunday.

LaSondra Barrett, a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, scored 13 points against Ole Miss to help pace the Lady Tigers. Barrett tops first-year head coach Nikki Caldwell's squad in points (11.7) and rebounds (6.2).

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