Lady Bulldogs Fall to Premier Players

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State closed out its preseason exhibition season on Monday night at Humphrey Coliseum by hosting the Adidas Premier Players. MSU jumped out to an early lead in the first half; however, it wasn't enough to overcome former Tennessee standout Courtney McDaniel and the Premier Players, as they took a 91-77 win.

"On defense we have to do a better job," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "Transitionally we weren't good. We made way too many mistakes. We have to force turnovers and we didn't do that. We didn't played hard and it showed up out there."

The Lady Bulldogs opened the game on a 8-0 run before McDaniel netted a jumper to score the Premier Players' first points of the game. MSU led by as much as 12 with 8:22 remaining in the half. However, the Premier Players cut the MSU lead to 36-35 on a three-pointer by former Arkansas standout India Lewis with just 1:31 to play. Lewis then tied the game with a free throw with just 1:04 left in the half. The Premier Players took a 40-36 lead at the intermission.

MSU kept the game close throughout the second half and even took a four-point advantage at 67-63 with 8:05 to play. Former Florida Gator Tonya Washington put the Premier Players up by five with under six minutes to play. The Lady Bulldogs got as close as three points down the stretch, but the Premier Players broke away for the 14-point win.

Four Lady Bulldogs posted point totals in double digits. Preseason Naismith Award candidate Tan White had her second double-double of the exhibition season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Mamie McKinney was MSU's second leading scorer, adding 17 points in the loss. Senior Tiania Burns had 15, while junior Blessing Chewka notched 10 points on the evening.

"As we rotated on defense, we didn't have anyone to replace," Fanning said. "We were not very alert and didn't communicate at times. That is an individual responsibility once you step on the court. We have to work hard all the time, and we didn't do that tonight."

McDaniel led the Premier Players and all scorers with 30 points. Mary Cofield (Iowa State) and Brandi McCain (Florida) recorded 13 each for the Premier Players. Washington contributed 10 in the win.

The Lady Bulldogs will open up the 2004-05 season at home Nov. 19 against the University of New Orleans at 7 p.m.


  • Senior forward Rebecca Kates, who missed the first exhibition with a strained quad, saw action for the first time this season, playing 18 minutes.
  • Freshman Miayorka Johnson, who is nursing a strained knee, did not play in the game.
  • Out of Mississippi State's 77 total points scored on the evening, 18 came off of second chance points. Just eight of the Premier Players' points came off second chances.

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