Lady Bulldogs head to Kentucky

STARKVILLE, Miss. ­- Head coach Sharon Fanning leads her Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (10-12, 4-5) to Lexington, Ky. to face the Wildcats (9-13, 1-8) in the second meeting of the season on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT). Fanning, who previously coached at Kentucky, is looking for her 150th win at State.

MSU is coming off of an upset win over No. 20 Florida Thursday in Starkville, 88-76. The Gators are the Bulldogs first win over a ranked team this season and the last since the win over 16th-ranked South Carolina (79-75) in the quarterfinals of the 2003 SEC Tournament. Sophomore forward Mamie McKinney posted a career-high 16 points along with junior forward Rebecca Kates recording a season-high 15 points, going four-for-eight from 3-point land in the win.

Junior guard Tan White is leading the Lady Bulldogs with 18.5 ppg and 5.9 rpg. The Tupelo, Miss. native leads the league in conference games only in scoring. Junior guard Tiania Burns is also averaging double figures with 14.9 ppg.

State took the first meeting, 80-67, on Jan. 22, 2004. It was the fourth straight win over the Wildcats in Starkville. White exploded for 33 points and 10 rebounds. Burns tallied a career-high five 3-pointers for 20 points in the win. MSU shot 89.5 percent from the free throw line to UK¹s 68.8 percent.

Kentucky (9-13, 1-8) is riding a four-game losing streak coming into Sunday's game. The Wildcats have lost the last four home games as well. UK's sole win in the conference is over South Carolina, 75-61. Most recently, Kentucky fell to Florida in Gainesville last Sunday, 76-56. Junior guard Sara Potts leads the Wildcats with 16.5 ppg while senior center SeSe Helm is putting up 15.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg. Sophomore guard Jenny Pfeiffer is recording 11.8 ppg.

Kentucky leads the series, 14-12. The Lady Bulldogs are 4-7 in Lexington but MSU has taken seven of the last eight meetings, including the last two encounters at Kentucky.

There are a couple MSU-UK connections to note. MSU head coach Sharon Fanning coached at Kentucky for eight years from 1987-1994. During her tenure, she led the Wildcats to a 134-97 record, one NCAA and one WNIT tournament appearance. UK assistant coach Matthew Mitchell is a 1995 MSU grad.

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs is a home game vs. South Carolina on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum.


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