Lady Bulldogs Host Maine

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After taking the week off for exams, Mississippi State women's basketball team will host Maine on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m., in the first of five games before the holiday break. State is looking to rebound from five straight losses, while Maine has suffered three in a row of its own.

Before the exam break, the Lady Bulldogs lost at Florida State, 75-59, despite shooting 21-for-26 from the free-throw line. State started four freshmen against the Seminoles, two of which tallied double digits (Heather Hollis, Robin Porter, Marneshia Richard, Lauren Roberts). This was the first time in Lady Bulldog history that four freshman started in a game according to box scores available since the 1982-83 season (not including the 1983-84 season).

This year's squad boasts five new faces, four of which have seen significant minutes. Three of the top five scoring slots are taken by freshmen. Leading scorer Robin Porter is averaging 12.3 points per game while second scorer Heather Hollis has 7.5 ppg and Lauren Roberts is in fourth place with her with 7.0 ppg.

Maine (2-3) has lost its last three games: at Michigan (68-60), vs. Rhode Island (65-48) and vs. Dartmouth (70-63). Senior center Abby Schrader is leading the Black Bears with 14.4 ppg and 9.8 rpg, junior forward Bracey Barker is tallying double digits with 12.0 ppg and junior guard Ashley Underwood is posting 10.0 ppg. Maine went 20-10 last season under former head coach Sharon Versyp and advanced to the WNIT First Round. The Black Bears returned six letterwinners including two starters to the 2005-05 squad.

This will be the first meeting for the Lady Bulldogs against Maine Black Bears. State almost met Maine last season when it participated in the Maine-hosted Dead River Company Classic over Thanksgiving. MSU fell to St. Joseph's, 41-38, in the first game and then defeated Loyola (Chicago), 80-43. Maine defeated both Loyola (72-54) and Saint Joseph's (54-36). MSU is 2-0 all-time vs. the America East Conference.

After Sunday, the Lady Bulldogs hit the road for two away games vs. Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La. on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and vs. New Orleans in Tyler, Texas on Thursday, Dec. 15 before hosting the MSU Classic Dec. 19-20.

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