STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament. State (18-11), which was awarded a No. 12 seed in the West Region, will meet fifth-seeded Boston College (23-7) on Friday, March 16th, in Lubbock, Texas. Host Texas Tech (18-11), which was seeded fourth, will face 13th-seeded Stephen F. Austin (24-5) in the nightcap."> STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament. State (18-11), which was awarded a No. 12 seed in the West Region, will meet fifth-seeded Boston College (23-7) on Friday, March 16th, in Lubbock, Texas. Host Texas Tech (18-11), which was seeded fourth, will face 13th-seeded Stephen F. Austin (24-5) in the nightcap.">

Lady Bulldogs will dance again

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/wbasketballfile120-160.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="157"> STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament. State (18-11), which was awarded a No. 12 seed in the West Region, will meet fifth-seeded Boston College (23-7) on Friday, March 16th, in Lubbock, Texas. Host Texas Tech (18-11), which was seeded fourth, will face 13th-seeded Stephen F. Austin (24-5) in the nightcap.

The Lady Bulldogs will make their third tournament appearance in the last four years, and third overall, all under coach Sharon Fanning. State also traveled to Lubbock in 1999, its first NCAA Tournament trip in the program's history. Three of the four teams that played in Lubbock to open up the tournament that year will converge there once again this season. That year, Mississippi State dropped an opening-round decision to North Carolina State while Texas Tech ousted Stephen F. Austin.

Mississippi State received a bid despite falling to last-seeded Kentucky, 75-72, in the opening round of the SEC Tournament last week. Prior to that, Mississippi State had won two-of-three, including an 83-63 victory over tourney-bound Florida in the regular season finale.

State, one of eight conference teams to receive bids, boasts both the SEC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honorees. Conference scoring leader LaToya Thomas, who is a Naismith Player of the Year finalist, was awarded the Associated Press SEC Player of the Year honor after averaging nearly 25 points per game. She also led the squad in rebounding, grabbing 9.7 boards per contest, and field goal percentage (57.7 percent).

Tan White, selected SEC Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press, averaged a solid 19 points per game while pulling down 7.4 rebounds per contest. The Tupelo native led the team in both steals (2.9 spg) and assists (4.5 apg).

Joining the duo in double-figures is lone senior post-player Jennifer Fambrough, who is averaging 12.4 points per game, despite having to sit out five games late in the season because of a back injury. She has played in just two games since having to sit out, versus Florida on Senior Day, and Kentucky in the SEC Tournament.

Boston College, coached by Cathy Inglese, is led by two players in double-figure scoring. Amber Jacobs is averaging 11.8 points per game while Clare Droesch is pouring in 10.2 points per outing. The Lady Eagles have nine players who average at least five points per game.

Mississippi State is second in the league in scoring, pouring in 78.3 points per night while giving up 70.6. State shoots 46.4 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from long-range, and 72.3 percent from the free-throw line. Boston College is statistically one of the better defensive teams in the nation, holding its opponents to just 58.2 points per game. The Lady Eagles average 68.4 points per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range, and 69.8 percent from the charity-stripe.

The Lady Bulldogs hope to improve on their 1-2 record in NCAA Tournament games. State last danced at the end of the 1999-2000 campaign, when it dropped a second-round game to UAB in Eugene, Ore. Should Mississippi State advance to the Sweet-16, the Lady Bulldogs would play in the West Regional Finals in Boise, Idaho, March 23rd and 25th.

Game-time for the Mississippi State-Boston College match-up has not been determined. The winner will move on to the next round to meet the Texas Tech-Stephen F. Austin winner, Sunday at 7:30 (CST).

A limited number of tickets can be ordered through the Mississippi State Athletic Ticket Office by calling 662-325-2600 or 1-877-GO-DAWGS.


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