Auburn leads the series 25-8, including a 9-6 mark in Starkville. The Tigers defeated MSU 78-48 last season in Auburn. The last match-up in Starkville was a 74-68 overtime Lady Bulldog victory during the 1999-2000 season. Fanning is 7-16 vs. Auburn, including a 4-3 mark during her career at State.
MSU is trying to keep its momentum going, coming off a three-game win streak that included a 21-point victory over in-state rival Mississippi last Sunday in Oxford and a come-from-behind thriller at No. 18 Georgia on Thursday. Those wins marked the second sweep of the Lady Rebels in the last three years and the first-ever sweep of Georgia.
Junior forward LaToya Thomas, a back-to-back Kodak All-American, is averaging 23.5 points per game, aided by 14 20+ point outings. Thomas also leads the squad in rebounds with 9.7 per outing, which includes a career-high 22-rebounds against Montana. She is the best field-goal shooter on the team with a .550 percentage (188-of-342).
Freshman guard Tan White is second on the squad in scoring and rebounding, pouring in 19.5 points and pulling down 7.9 boards per outing. She leads the team in assists, dishing 4.3 per night, in steals, tallying 3.0 per contest and in blocks, knocking down 1.1 per outing. She leads the team in three-pointers with 37.
Joining the duo in double-figures is post-player Jennifer Fambrough, who is averaging 12.2 points per game while pulling down 5.8 rebounds per outing.
State has a 209-129 (.618) record in its 25th year of playing in Humphrey Coliseum. State is currently 66-24 (.733) at home under Fanning. Two years ago, the Lady Bulldogs finished the season 13-2 at home setting a new school standard for home victories. The 2001-02 squad is 8-1 so far this season with four home games remaining in the regular season.
Aside from its victory over MSU two weeks ago, Auburn's only other SEC win was a 70-66 victory at Kentucky. The Tigers have fallen to No. 15 Florida (70-61), No. 16 Georgia (60-49), No. 2 Tennessee (66-53) and Mississippi (63-53) at home while losing to No. 2 Tennessee (71-50) and Alabama (78-70) on the road. Auburn is in the midst of a three-game skid. Leading the Tigers is Carol Smith with 11.2 points and 2.8 assists per outing. Le'Coe Willingham is also averaging 11.2 points per game while grabbing 8.3 boards per contest.
Sunday's game is Take a Kid to the Game day which means all kids 18 and under get in free with a paid adult. Also, at halftime of the contest, the Mississippi State will be recognizing its former Lady Bulldogs as they recognize its women's basketball alumnae.