Lady Bulldogs in WNIT Tournament

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (17-11, 6-8 SEC) earn their eighth postseason trip to the Women's National Invitation Tournament, traveling to Jonesboro, Ark. to face the Arkansas State Lady Indians (19-10, 11-3 Sun Belt) for a first round match up on Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m. CT.<P>

"The WNIT gives us an opportunity to win another ball game," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "Our immediate attention goes to Arkansas State and the effort it takes to win a postseason game."

State finished the regular season 17-10 before falling to Arkansas in the first round of the SEC Tournament, 80-73. MSU is 3-4 overall in postseason WNIT play and 2-2 under head coach Sharon Fanning. The Lady Bulldogs most recent WNIT postseason appearance was at the end of the 2000-01 season when State advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating Georgia Tech and Illinois, before falling to James Madison, 63-61.

Arkansas State leads the overall series between the two schools, 4-2. The last meeting came in Starkville, Miss. in the MSU Classic on Nov. 22, 1997, when the Lady Indians won, 76-68. MSU is 33-17 overall vs. the Sun Belt Conference, including the 91-50 defeat over New Orleans and 71-50 victory over South Alabama this year.

"It is just good to make postseason play," said senior guard Tan White. "We didn't make it last year. We just need to take this opportunity to play and make the best of it. I don't want to end it on an off game like Arkansas. I just hope that we end it off right."

The winner of Thursday night's game between the MSU and Arkansas State will face the winner of Friday night's first round game between UNLV and Arkansas at a place and time to be determined.

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