The Greenville, Miss., native broke several Mississippi State records last season including most points (752), scoring average (24.3), and most free throws made in a season (195). Thomas, a 6-2 forward, again led the SEC in scoring (24.3 ppg) and the Lady Bulldogs in rebounds (8.3 rpg) during her sophomore campaign.
Also returning is senior Jennifer Fambrough, who was named second-team all-SEC for the third straight season. The 6-0 forward from Dickson, Tenn., started all 31 games as a junior. Fambrough was second on the team in scoring (14.5 ppg) and in rebounding (5.9 rpg) one year ago.
Juniors coming back include Keisha Stringfellow, a 5-9 guard from Clinton, Miss., who started 15 games last season, and Courtney Graham, a 5-11 forward from Frankfort, Ky., who started four games last year.
Sophomores Seneca Anderson, a 6-1 guard from Benton, Miss., Jessica Carter, a 5-7 guard from Farmington, Ark., Meagan O'Nan, a 5-8 guard from Starkville, Miss., and Lyndi Sippel, a 6-2 forward from Rising Fawn, Ga., also return to help the Lady Bulldogs.
Six newcomers will make their MSU debut Thursday night. Freshmen Ebonie Ferguson (Gadsden, Ala.), Charmaine Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.), Rebecca Kates (Cashion, Okla.), and Tan White (Tupelo, Miss.), will join junior college transfers Renea Jones (Laurel, Miss.) and Yennette Smith (Biloxi, Miss.) in donning the Maroon and White for the first time.
The contest will also be a homecoming for the Lady Bulldogs all-time leading scorer LaCharlotte Smith, who played for the Lady Bulldogs from 1993-96. Having scored 1,533 during her career, she was tabbed as an all-SEC performer during her junior and senior seasons, averaging 17.9 points per game in her final campaign.
Admission is free for exhibition games, so fans are encouraged to come take a look at the 2001-02 Lady Bulldogs.