Lady Bulldogs Open Season This Weekend.

STARKVILLE, Miss. ­- The 32nd season of Mississippi State women's basketball kicks off the 2005-06 season this weekend with two non-conference home games. State hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. and East Tennessee State on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs are 28-3 in all-time home openers and 14-0 in season openers at home.

State came up short in both exhibition games this preseason, falling to the Houston Jaguars, 92-79, and Athletes in Action, 69-56. Despite the losses, several Lady Bulldogs consistently tallied double-digit numbers, including freshman guard/forward Robin Porter with 28 points and 21 rebounds, senior guard/forward Blessing Chekwa with 23 points and sophomore guard Miayorka Johnson with 17 points. Porter even posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds vs. the Jaguars. MSU played without veteran point guard Doceide Warren who has been nursing a sprain in her right shoulder and elbow but is expected to play this weekend.

Last season State finished 17-12 overall and 6-8 in the SEC for a sixth place finish. MSU returns eight letterwinners, including two starters to the 2005-06 squad, in senior guard Doceide Warren who averaged 6.7 ppg and 3.7 rpg and senior forward Mamie McKinney with 6.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Leadership will come from the four seniors highlighting this team in guard/forward Chekwa, forward Chalandra Hilliard, forward McKinney and guard Warren. Head coach Sharon Fanning enters her 30th year as a head coach with a 493-351 career record and 11th year at the Lady Bulldog helm, totaling a 170-125 record at State.

Southeastern Louisiana
The overall series is tied with Southeastern Louisiana, 3-3. State won the last two meetings in Starkville and is 3-1 when hosting the Lady Lions. In the matchup last season, the Lady Bulldogs won, 71-45, on Dec. 16, 2004.

This also marks the first game of the season for SLU, who went 10-17 last season and 4-12 in the Southland Conference. The Lady Lions return three starters to the lineup in sophomore guard Brooke Necaise with 7.1 ppg and 1.8 rpg; senior guard Jenny Brown averaged 4.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg; junior forward Taryn Achord who averaged 2.5 ppg and 3.2 rpg.

SLU's 2005-06 roster boasts three Lady Lions from the state of Mississippi in sophomore guard Brooke Necaise from Kiln, Miss., junior center Jazmin Cain from Mound Bayou, Miss., and junior guard Carmen Labat is a native of Waveland, Miss.

East Tennessee State
MSU took the first meeting with ETSU last season, 74-64, in Johnson City, Tenn. on Dec. 30, 2004. This is the first game of the season for the Bucs. ETSU went 13-7 last season and 9-11 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They return four starters to the squad in senior guard BJ Banjo who averaged 15.7 ppg and 4.2 rpg; senior forward Candace Gibson with 8.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg; sophomore guard/forward Michele DeVault who had 6.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg; sophomore guard/forward Nicole Akers had 4.6 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

MSU welcomes back ETSU head coach Karen Kemp who was a Lady Bulldog assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 1985-87 under former MSU head coach Brenda Paul.

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