MSU Lady Dawgs Defeat New Orleans, 91-50

The Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated New Orleans, 91-50, to start the season.

Both coaches comment on the game.

New Orleans Lady Privateers Head Coach Amy Champion:

Comment on the defensive pressure of Mississippi State.
"They are extrememly talented in the guard position, very athletic, very quick. We expected it to be a transition game. Our young kids realized tonight what Division I basketball is all about. There were a number of minutes tonight where I looked up and we had four freshmen on the floor. It's going to be a tough year for us. We're expecting that, but we love challenges like this. I think we learn from them."

It looked like you struggled all night against the press.
"We did. Being young like that, we're going to face a lot of those situations. I think we're going to continue to struggle until we get physically stronger, smarter, and play with each other a lot more in practice. I commend Mississippi State for playing like they did. They're very talented, but you can tell they play well together. They're experienced. They will probably have a pretty good season, even in the league, in the SEC."

Does the tandem of Tan and Tiania remind you of anyone?
"Do you ever watch the Houston Comets play in the WNBA? Yes, they're very talented. They're seniors, they're experienced. They play well together. That showed tonight. It showed that we started two freshmen guards. We're in a re-building situation. Hopefully, by the time our kids are seniors, we'll have a nice little tandem too."

Mississippi State Lady Dawgs Head Coach Sharon Fanning:

"I felt with this game we sort of went back to the team that we looked like in our first exhibition game in terms of the intensity and the enthusiasm. You could tell a difference in practice yesterday. You could definitely tell a difference today in our shoot around. We will enjoy this now.

"It was a great game, and a lot of people did a lot of things. As we step up, we want to improve. As we look ahead to Baylor from this game, we realize the intensity. How you're going to play when you're frustrated and when things don't go your way all the time, that's where we have to mature and step up.

"It was good to see better decisions. (The) assist/turnover (ratio) to end up positive for us is a huge thing. There are two areas where we have to get better. We have to focus on this--the rebounding margin by ten and then the free throw margin by ten. We cannot put people on the line, blocking out is a key. We really have to do a better job in those two areas. We played plenty of folks today and got some good minutes (from them). To see us shoot above fifty percent in the second half was a plus. To see us not lose composure and get too relaxed in the second half was a plus. Really good basketball teams continue to play hard even though they have a lead. That's important that we do that.

"It was good win. It was a good balance for us. Hopefully it was something that we can build on. The most important game that you play is the next one. Now we have to get focused for Baylor and realize the strength of their team coming in here."

Talk about Tiania and the pressure defense.
"A big key with any game, but especially with this team that had a couple of young guards, is turnovers. We felt that we could put enough pressure on the ball and force some bad shots. Through the defensive pressure, you're going to get some deflections and some steals. I felt like, transition-wise, we were getting down the floor. It was several different people, really, pushing the ball. You have to defend and rebound before you can run. We want to influence and dictate on defense. They had too many boards though. To have sixteen offensive boards is too many. For them to be that close in rebounding is not acceptable. We have to continue to work on positioning as a team, and apply the pressure, as you mentioned that Tiania (did). I thought all of our guards did a good job. For the most part, they're gaining an understanding of where we want the ball."

Talk about Tan and her leadership on this team.
"She really wants this to be a good year and a good team, and for her to do her part. She realizes that it's going to take everybody that's out there. She wants to involve them and make everybody around her better. The leadership of your senior class is always going to have a great influence relative to the reaction of the other kids. We take one step at a time. They are continuing to improve. They have done that from the beginning in terms of their communication and their understanding of what we need done. Tan is a huge part of that, and I'm really proud of how she is progressing."

Comment on your next game with Baylor.
"I think you have to keep every game in balance and focus. It's going to have to be play by play. Every five minute segment is going to be extremely important. You can't want something too much, but you've got to want it enough. You have to have a vision of what you're trying to accomplish. The vision is to win this ballgame. That's the goal.

"They (Baylor) have a great tandem inside the post. (They have) good balance there. They have excellent quickness on the perimeter. They have a lot of enthusiasm. They are a very athletic team. They rebound the ball exceptionally well. They really focus on getting the ball to the rim. That's a key for them. There's a lot of intensity on that basketball team. They are a very focused team relative to what they want to achieve.

"The game Tuesday prepares you as you get into the league and for the postseason play. It helps you tune-up because they are truly a very good basketball team with really good balance. We just have to be the better basketball team. It's going to take fundamentals and team play. There are going to be runs in games like that. You can't lose focus if the ball bounces their way once or twice. You're going to have to do the things you need to do for a forty minute period and do them well as a team to beat any team at that level. That's what we're expecting to do."

Would you like to see more women's and men's doubleheaders?
"I think it's good for the fans once or twice a year. It's probably better if, of course, it's out-of-conference games and if it's not the biggest games for both teams. With our men, it's not a game with a top team coming in. For us, it is. That beomes a difficult thing if it is one of your better teams. We didn't initially plan it that way. It's not bad though, especially when you're having as many home games as we're having, to have one or two, so that some fans that typically do not get to see the women's game get to come early and see us play. I think it can be a positive, and we're going to make it a positive. We're just hoping that the fans on both sides of the tickets cooperate and work with each other on seating, and it's a positive experience for Mississippi State basketball, period. We need people in the stands. This is a huge game for us. We need them there at 5:00. The fans are going to make a difference. We surly need them in the stands."

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Lady Bulldog head coach Sharon Fanning opened her 10th season at Mississippi State on Friday night against the Privateers of the University of New Orleans. The Lady Bulldogs started the game strong, scoring 35 of its points off 29 UNO turnovers, to take a 91-50 win at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Privateers scored the first basket of the game for their only lead of the night. Following the UNO basket, State scored the next nine unanswered points. MSU eventually led by as much as 29 with 5:47 remaining in the half. Seniors Tiania Burns and Tan White led the way during the first period for MSU. They each posted double digits points in the period, Burns with 11 and White with 17. The Lady Bulldogs led at the intermission, 43-17.

In the second period, State continued its dominance opening the half with six straight points before UNO dented the MSU lead to just 30 with 17:36 left in the game. The Lady Bulldogs' lead was extended to as much as 44 with 3:21 remaining. The Privateers never found an answer for the State arsenal, as MSU took the 41-point win, 91-50.

White led all scorers with 27 points, while Burns added 15. Blessing Chewka netted 10 for MSU.

Tomesia Winston led the Privateers with 20 points.

Mississippi State returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 23, when they host Baylor at 5 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the MSU men's team.


MSU is now 40-19 overall versus teams from the Sun Belt Conference. MSU is now 9-3 all time against New Orleans, 4-0 when facing the Lady Privateers at home. State is now 19-12 in season openers, and 28-3 when hosting its season opener.

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