Women's Hoops Opens Season Friday

STARKVILLE, Miss. -­ Mississippi State women's basketball opens its 2004-05 season hosting New Orleans at home on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum. The Lady Bulldogs went 1-1 in exhibition play with a win over the Houston Jaguars (79-60) and a loss to the Premier Players (91-77). Senior Tan White posted double-double performances both games to lead the charge, averaging 21.5 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game this preseason.

MSU leads the series versus New Orleans, 8-3, including a 3-0 record at home. State has won the last seven meetings, including the win last year in New Orleans, 73-54. MSU is 18-12 in all-time season openers and 27-3 when hosting its first game of the season.

UNO went 10-17 in 2003-04, finishing sixth in the Sun Belt (5-10). In preseason competition, the Privateers defeated New Orleans Heat, 85-59, but fell to Xavier (La.), 69-53. Seniors Joevone Markey and Tomesia Winston both posted double-doubles in preseason play.

Last season State finished with a 14-15 overall record and 7-7 mark in the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs fell in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals to Tennessee, 67-57, to end their season.

The Lady Bulldogs added six new faces to this year's squad, freshmen Alexandria Hagler, Miayorka Johnson, Amy Reeder, Maribeth Willoughby, sophomore transfer Sarah Johnson and junior transfer Orsolya Kriegel.

Leadership will come from three-time all-SEC selection senior guard White as well as fellow seniors Tiania Burns, Rebecca Kates and Ebonie Ferguson. All-SEC candidate Mamie McKinney will provide now veteran experience underneath and the anticipated return from injuries of juniors Blessing Chekwa and Doceide Warren will give more depth to the roster.

Head coach Sharon Fanning enters her 10th season at the Lady Bulldog helm with a 153-113 record at MSU and 476-339 overall record entering her 29th year of coaching.

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