Two-time Kodak All-American LaToya Thomas scored a game-high 33 points, with all but seven of those coming in the second half. The Greenville native connected on 10-of-16 shots from the field and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Freshman guard Tan White scored 20 points while dishing out five assists. White nailed six three-pointers, a career-high, on 6-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.
Sippel recorded her first start for the Maroon and White, in place of senior post-player Jennifer Fambrough, who was forced to sit the game out because of back spasms. Fambrough, a senior from Dickson, Tenn., missed the first game of her Lady Bulldog career. Before tonight, Fambrough had started 113 consecutive games for State. Sippel scored a career-high 15 points, all of them coming in the first half, on six-of-12 shooting. Reserve guard Jessica Carter scored 13 points, on 4-of-6 shooting from long-range.
Four players scored in double-figures for Alabama, led by inside player LaNisha Cartwell, who bagged 19 points and grabbed six boards, also a team-high. Shondra Johnson scored 18 points and dished out a game-high nine assists for Bama. Beth Vince scored 17 points and Katie Sipe nailed 12 to help Alabama win its third game in four outings.
Mississippi State shot a respectable 49 percent from the field, but couldn't hold off the sharp-shooting Tide. Bama shot 61.8 percent from the floor and connected on 11-of-23 shots from behind the arc (47.8 percent). Mississippi State was able to keep it close, thanks to its own accuracy from long-range. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from beyond the three-point line. Alabama held the edge on the boards, out-rebounding State, 31-28.
"Alabama played with a lot of energy tonight," MSU coach Sharon Fanning said afterwards. "They played hard and did what they needed to do to win. The bottom line is that we have to play better defense to have success."
Despite the loss, Mississippi State is still off to its best SEC start in school history. The Lady Bulldogs will put their 7-3 conference mark on the line Sunday afternoon in a key tilt in Nashville, versus No. 6 Vanderbilt at 4 p.m.