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.
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.