Lady Bulldogs Host Arkansas in SEC Opener

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coming off of a win to wrap up its non-conference season, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (5-8) host the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (8-5) in its SEC opener on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum. This will be the first conference action for both teams and will mark the first time the two have played each other to commence the SEC season. State is 6-17 overall in conference openers and 3-6 in SEC openers at home.

This will mark the 21st meeting between State and Arkansas. The Lady Backs hold the overall advantage with an 11-9 series record but MSU is 6-2 when playing in Starkville and has won the last four meetings in Humphrey Coliseum. The last time these two foes have met was in the 2005 SEC Tournament, when Arkansas eliminated MSU from the conference tournament with an 80-73 victory. Arkansas would go on to advance to the WNIT Second Round falling to Arkansas State, the same opponent that defeated MSU in its first round WNIT game.

The Lady Bulldogs come into the contest with a 5-8 non-conference record, most recently earning a win over Birmingham-Southern, 59-50, to close out that portion of the schedule. With the win, Lady Bulldog head coach Sharon Fanning is two wins closer to reaching the 500-career win mark (498-359). Third leading scorer sophomore guard Miayorka Johnson led the Lady Bulldogs in the win with a career-high 21 points. She was followed by senior forward Mamie McKinney's second straight double-double game with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

This will be Arkansas' first game of the New Year after falling to Florida International, 58-54, in the championship game of the FIU Fun and Sun Classic on Dec. 30. The Lady Razorbacks are 1-4 on the road his season with the sole win coming at the beginning of the season at SMU, 73-63. They are led by junior guard Kristin Peoples who is averaging 15.9 points per game followed by junior guard Dominique Washington with 10.9 ppg and freshman post Whitney Jones with 10.3 ppg. Arkansas is playing without returning starter Sarah Pfeifer, who tore her ACL at the beginning of the season.

After Thursday night's contest, MSU will travel to Oxford to face in-state rival Ole Miss on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. CT to be televised on SEC-TV (FOX Sports Net South, FOX Sports Net Southwest and Sun Sport).

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