AUBURN, Ala. --- Tan White and LaToya Thomas each scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough, as the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs were handed their second conference loss of the season, 81-61, in Auburn Sunday afternoon. MSU fell to 12-6, 3-2 in the SEC, while Auburn improved to 14-4, 2-3 in conference play."> AUBURN, Ala. --- Tan White and LaToya Thomas each scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough, as the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs were handed their second conference loss of the season, 81-61, in Auburn Sunday afternoon. MSU fell to 12-6, 3-2 in the SEC, while Auburn improved to 14-4, 2-3 in conference play.">

LADY BULLDOGS FALL TO AUBURN, 81-61

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/wbasketballfile120-160.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="157"> AUBURN, Ala. --- Tan White and LaToya Thomas each scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough, as the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs were handed their second conference loss of the season, 81-61, in Auburn Sunday afternoon. MSU fell to 12-6, 3-2 in the SEC, while Auburn improved to 14-4, 2-3 in conference play.

State stayed within range in the first half, as neither team led by more than five points while the lead changed hands nine times. Auburn ended the half on a 9-3 run to take a 36-32 lead at the break. Mississippi State shot just 31 percent in the second half on 11-of-35 shooting, as Auburn steadily extended the lead while shooting 50 percent from the field. The Tigers led by double-digits for the first time in the game, at 48-38, nearly six minutes into the second stanza, and the Lady Bulldogs would never get the lead back into single digits.

Thomas pulled down 13 rebounds to go along with her 19 points, to record the 27th double-double of her career. The two-time Kodak All-American shot 8-of-13 from the field and played all 40 minutes of the contest. White dished out a team-high seven assists while grabbing eight boards. The true freshman also led the squad in steals, with three. Also in double-figures for State was senior post-player Jennifer Fambrough, who scored ten points on four-of-six shooting. Forward Keisha Stringfellow chipped in nine points and dished out two assists for the Lady Bulldogs.

Guard Carol Smith paced Auburn, leading all scorers with 27 points on the night. She shot 10-of-15 from the floor and nailed all three of her long-range attempts. Le'Coe Willingham scored 18 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the Tigers. Also in double figures for AU were reserves Natasha Brackett and Kerdu Arbet, who scored 16 and ten points, respectively.

"I felt our intensity wasn't there during the game," State coach Sharon Fanning said afterwards. "We really just didn't play as hard as we needed to win the game. Auburn did a great job on the boards and they out-hustled us. Give credit to Auburn and Coach (Joe) Ciampi. They are a good basketball team."

The Tigers out-rebounded Mississippi State 41-30 while shooting nearly 51 percent from the field for the game. MSU shot 38.7 percent from the floor.

The Lady Bulldogs will return home for a Thursday evening tilt against the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum. Following Thursday night's contest, State will hit the road again for a two-game road-swing, at Mississippi (Jan. 27th) and Georgia (Jan. 31st).


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