STARKVILLE, Miss. ­­ The Mississippi State women's basketball team opened its regular season with an 88-42 win over Alabama A&M on Friday. The Lady Bulldogs look to continue their winning ways when they host Tennessee Tech on Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum at 2 p.m.

Both teams received votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, putting both squads among the nation's top 55 teams.

Four of MSU's starters and one played off the bench scored in double digits Friday night two-time Kodak All-America LaToya Thomas led the team with 19 points and eight rebounds in only 23 minutes of action.

Freshman standout Tan White scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 22 minutes, but most noteworthy for the 5-8 guard from Tupelo, Miss., were her six steals and three blocks.

While head coach Sharon Fanning played all 13 players, it was freshman Rebecca Kates, who played the most minutes coming off the bench with 22. The 6-1 forward scored 11 points and tallied six boards and three assists.

MSU came out strong shooting 57 percent from the field and 63 percent from behind the arc in the first half to give the Lady Bulldogs a 48-22 advantage at the break. State finished the game shooting 51 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the free throw line, while outrebounding Alabama A&M 50-34.

While State was busy defeating Alabama A&M on Friday, Tennessee Tech was just up the road beating the Mississippi Lady Rebels 77-55. The two teams were tied at 30 at halftime, but Tech shot 54 percent from the floor and held UM to 24 percent shooting to outscore the Lady Rebels 47-25 in the second half.

Leading the Golden Eaglettes was Janet Holt with 41 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-0 senior forward was 12-of-19 from the field and 16-of-18 from the charity stripe. Also in double figures was senior guard Allison Clark with 13 points.

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