LADY BULLDOGS HIT CENTURY MARK, GRAB FIFTH VICTOR

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Lady Bulldogs used tough defense and sharp shooting en route to a 100-52 victory over the University of New Orleans Tuesday night. Mississippi State (5-2) pulled ahead of the Privateers (3-5) in the first minute of play and never looked back as State hit the century mark for the first time this season.

The 48-point ending margin was State's largest of the season since the Lady Bulldogs defeated Alabama A&M by 46 to start the season. The win marks MSU head coach Sharon Fanning's fourth victory over the Privateers since coming to Mississippi State in 1995. The Lady Bulldogs, who continued to receive votes in both top 25 polls this week, have won five straight against UNO, three in New Orleans.

Junior forward LaToya Thomas scored 16 points in the opening half to push her double-digit scoring streak to 70 games. The two-time Kodak all-American finished her 26-minute outing with 26 points and eight rebounds. The Greenville, Miss., native has scored 20+ points in 16 of the last 19 contests.

Waiting until the second half to keep her seven-game double-digit scoring streak alive, Tan White scored all of her 14 points in the last 20 minutes of regulation. The freshman guard from Tupelo, Miss., recorded her third double-double of the season, grabbing 10 rebounds in her 23-minute effort. She again led the team with five assists and three blocks.

In just nine minutes of action in the first half, sophomore guard Seneca Anderson broke her career high of 11 points, scoring 12 which included another career high of two buckets from behind the arc. Anderson also dished out a career-best four assists.

Sophomore Jessica Carter was the fourth Lady Bulldog to tally double digits with 11 points, including three-of-four shooting from long range. Sophomore Lyndi Sippel and junior Keisha Stringfellow each chipped in nine points for MSU which marked a career high for Sippel.

"I thought our communication improved tonight," head coach Sharon Fanning said. "I thought our players off the bench came in and helped pick up the intensity. We got into gear very quickly tonight."

Although UNO won the tip and Privateer Jessica Dunham hit a three-pointer just four seconds into the game, Mississippi State held the Privateers scoreless for the next seven minutes, going on a 17-0 run. Using 12 players and shooting 53 percent in the beginning period, the Lady Bulldogs played to a 28-point margin at halftime (47-19).

After holding the Privateers to just 14.7 percent shooting in the first half, State allowed UNO to shoot 33 percent and score 33 points in the second period. The Lady Bulldogs, who were shooting at a 53 percent clip before the half, shot 48.6 percent the second half.

Through a foul-laden game, both teams managed to shoot just over 70 percent from the stripe. State was 25-of-35 (.714) from the line, while the Privateers were 18-of-25 (.720) from the free-throw line.

Mississippi State takes a break from action for final exams before hitting the court for the Dec. 15-16 MSU Classic. On Saturday, Dec. 15, Montana and Houston play in the first game at 1 p.m. before the Lady Bulldogs host Jacksonville State at 3 p.m. The consolation and championship games are slated for Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively.


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