Lady Bulldogs Lose to UAB, 73-59

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team closed out 2005 on Thursday night with a 73-59 loss to UAB. Despite holding a slim advantage during the first half, the Lady Bulldogs (4-8) were unable to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit and 21-point second-half lead held by the Blazers (6-4). Four Lady Bulldogs scored in double digits with senior forward Mamie McKinney netting her first double-double of the season.

"Focus was our main concern," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "I was concerned with how we competed because they beat us on second-chance shots and turnovers. That's a result of not being focused. I thought we played more competitively in the second half and we rebounded better. Their transition buckets in the first half hurt us. We just didn't do our job. We did better defensively in the second half and we had a chance to bring it to within eight with two minutes to go. You have to make plays and play defense. We just didn't get it done."

UAB led the game 4-0 at the 18:32 mark behind a pair of free throws and a basket from Britney Jones but MSU tied the game less than a minute later, using baskets from freshman guard/forward Robin Porter and McKinney. After the Blazers led 10-9 at the 16:00 mark, the Lady Bulldogs took their first lead of the contest at 11-10 on a jumper from Porter with 15:38 remaining in the half. Following a two-minute defensive battle, however, UAB regained a one-point advantage before extending its lead out to eight at 22-14 with 8:35 on the clock. The Lady Bulldogs scored their next basket with 8:24 remaining on a lay-up from freshman guard Marneisha Richard. Despite a strong Lady Bulldog effort, the Blazers extended their lead out to 16 to take a 39-23 lead into the lockerroom at the intermission.

Picking up right where they left off in the second half, UAB held MSU to just five points in the opening five minutes of the period and maintained its 16-point cushion. Despite a three-point basket from freshman forward Lauren Roberts and jumpers from McKinney and junior forward/center Natasha Henderson, the Blazers upped their lead to 19, 54-35, with 11:22 to play in the game. Sparked by a lay-up, a three-pointer and a free throw from Richard, the Lady Bulldogs cut their deficit to 15 with five minutes left in the game and, following a missed UAB three-pointer, State scored on a trey from Roberts to pull within 12 at 3:38.

Porter and Hollis led MSU with 16 points each, while McKinney and Richard had 10 apiece. McKinney also pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Blazers were led by Crystal McFadden's 16 points and Britney Jones's 11. Carmen Guzman had 10 for the Blazers. UAB scored 29 points off 25 MSU turnovers.

The Lady Bulldogs return home on Monday, Jan. 2, when MSU hosts Birmingham-Southern at 7 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum.


Head coach Sharon Fanning has tallied a 108-46 overall non-conference record in her 11th years at MSU. Coach Fanning is 23-26 in non-conference games on the road.

The series with UAB is tied 12-12. State is 3-9 when playing in Birmingham.

The Lady Bulldogs are 44-53 vs. Conference USA, including a 64-57 loss to Southern Miss earlier this season.

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