News from MSU Media Relations--March 16

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Men's Tennis
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team opened up play in the Blue-Gray Collegiate Classic, falling 4-1 to Texas Tech on Thursday night. The match started three hours later than the originally scheduled match time due to rain earlier in the day.

Singles play was played first due to time restraints. The first point went to the Red Raiders when Texas Tech's Christian Rojmar defeated State's Philippe Frayssinoux 6-1, 6-1 at the #3 position. Red Raider Teddy Diblasi knocked off MSU freshman Ryan Farlow 6-1, 6-2 at the #6 spot to give Tech a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 2-1 when State sophomore Pierre Mouillon was victorious over Texas Tech's Dimitric Martinez by a score of 6-4, 6-4 on the #3 court.

With three matches remaining, MSU and Texas Tech were deadlocked at a set a piece in two matches and MSU up a set in the third. On court #1 Bulldog Ivan Bjelica was able to force a third set by winning the second set, but could not hold on in the third, falling 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to Tech's #102-ranked Adrien Prpic, giving TTU a 3-1 advantage. On court #5, MSU senior Florent Girod led Red Raider Sinisa Markovich 3-0 in the first set but lost six consecutive games, losing the first set. Girod fought back to win the second set 6-1 sending the match to a decisive third set. With Markovich up 5-4 in the set, he broke Girod's serve, clinching the match and the team victory for the Red Raiders. The one reamining match between State's Jose-Carlos Pinto and Texas Tech's Michael Breter was suspended after the clinching point with Pinto leading 7-5, 3-2.

"We did not practice very well this week and you could tell that that carried over to the match," said MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard. "Now, we just have to get ready for tommorow and another tough match."

The Bulldogs will continue play tomorrow in the Blue-Gray Classic with a first-round consolation match against Colorado at 4:30 p.m.

Track & Field
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State University decathletes freshman Darryl Brady (Vancleave, Miss.) and sophomore Joseph Queen (Jackson, Miss.) closed out the opening day of the Alabama Relays in second and fifth places, respectively. Brady accumulated 3278 points, while Queen has 3137.

"They did so well. There's nothing bad about what they did today. It was a great day," said assistant coach Karen Rademeyer, who oversees combined event athletes.

Brady won the high jump competition, clearing a personal best 6-06, while Queen jumped 5-09 ¾. Running into a negative wind, Brady ran 11.78 seconds in the day's first event; the 100-meter dash and Queen crossed the finish line in 11.74.

Queen's leap of 20-06 ½ marked a personal best in the long jump, while Brady leaped 20-04 ½. In the shot put, Brady and Queen threw 33-10 ¾ and 34-02, respectively. In the closing event of the day, Queen clocked 53.09, while Brady ran 53.49.

Tomorrow's decathlon competition resumes at 9 a.m. CT with the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500-meter run.

Women's Basketball


  • Head coach Sharon Fanning wrapped up her 11th season at State and 30th overall as a head coach with a career record of 499-373. State went 6-22 overall and 1-13 in conference play.
  • MSU held LSU to its second lowest point total of the season with the 62-48 loss in Baton Rouge, La. on Feb. 26.
  • For the majority of the season, State was second in the league with multiple leading scorers totaling eight different Lady Bulldog leaders, not including when several players tied for top points.
  • State had 11 different starting lineups this season.
  • With the 78-65 win over Morehead State on the first day of the MSU Classic Dec. 19, the Lady Bulldogs earned their 250th career win for women's basketball in Humphrey Coliseum.
  • With a 1-13 SEC record, State finished in 12th place in the conference.
  • Going 0-1 in the 2006 SEC Tournament, MSU now has an 11-27 SEC Tournament record and is 8-18 in first round competition. State fell to fifth-seed Florida, 98-83. The MSU point total (83) are the most points scored by an MSU team in an SEC Tourney game and most points in the 2005-06 season. The 25 three-pointers attempted were the most by an MSU team in an SEC Tournament game. With four Lady Bulldogs scoring in double digits, this marked the second time this season that State set this performance (M. Johnson 21, McKinney 19, Richard 14, Roberts 11). The other time was at UAB, Dec. 29, 2005.


  • State started four freshman this season for the first time in Lady Bulldog history. Heather Hollis, Robin Porter, Marneshia Richard and Lauren Roberts all got the starting nod at Vanderbilt (1/12/06), vs. Purdue (12/20/05), at Louisiana Tech (12/13/05), vs. Maine (12/11/05) and at Florida State (12/2/05). These are the first times in Lady Bulldog history that four freshmen started in a game according to box scores available since the 1982-83 season (not including the 1983-84 season). Before this season, the last time that three freshmen started was Feb. 9, 1997 at Tennessee (Angela Harris, Nitra Perry, Barbara Thomas) and the last time that two freshmen Lady Bulldogs started was Dec. 14, 2002 vs. Illinois (Blessing Chekwa, Mamie McKinney).

  • Freshman guard Heather Hollis
    -Named to the 2005 MSU Classic All-Tourney team after totaling 17 points,8-for-10 free throws, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots in the two games played.

  • Freshman guard/forward Robin Porter
    -Her 297 points this season rank her 10th on the all-time freshman season points chart.
    -Her 168 rebounds rank her ninth on the all-time freshman season rebounds list.
    -Her 40 steals put her tied for ninth place on the all-time freshman season steals record.
    -Her 14 blocked shots place her in ninth on the all-time freshman season block shots chart.
    -Starting in all 28 games played this season, Porter ranked t-14th in the nation among NCAA Division I Freshman Leaders.
    -Concluding her first year playing for the Maroon and White, freshman guard/forward Robin Porter led the team with 10.6 points per game. She became just the fifth Lady Bulldog freshman to lead an MSU women's basketball team in scoring average. The following Lady Bulldogs were freshmen that ended the season leading their team in points:
    1981--Sonya Meadows--28--515--18.4
    1983--Polly Branch--28--396--14.1
    1999--Jennifer Fambrough--28--490--17.5
    2000--LaToya Thomas--32--672--21.0*
    *Led the Southeastern Conference

  • Freshman guard Marneshia Richard
    -Her 40 steals in her freshman year rank tied for ninth on the all-time freshman season list.

  • Freshman Bethany Workman
    -She was named to the 2005-06 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Good Works Team.

  • Junior forward/center Natasha Henderson
    -With her 27 blocked shots garnered this season, junior forward/center Natasha Henderson concluded the season tied for second place on the MSU all-time junior season-high block shots list with Tan White, one behind Louise Grimes (1980-81).
    -Her three blocked shots three times this season (at Arkansas, vs. Arkansas, at UAB) are tied for second as a game-high among juniors.

  • Lady Bulldogs in SEC statistics as of 3/5/06:
    -t23.--Robin Porter--10.6 ppg
    -15.--Robin Porter--6.0 rpg
    -14.--Mamie McKinney--6.1 rpg
    -t14.--Mamie McKinney--1.00 bpg
    -8.--Mamie McKinney--2.67 offensive rpg
    -11.--Blessing Chekwa--1.83 spg

  • Postseason awards: MSU freshman guard/forward Robin Porter was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Porter becomes just the fifth Lady Bulldog to be named to the newcomer team behind Tan White (2002), LaToya Thomas (2000), Sharon Thompson (1995) and Lisa Scott (1989).

  • State graduates four seniors in Blessing Chekwa, Chalandra Hilliard, Mamie McKinney and Doceide Warren. The Lady Bulldogs signed five players in the early signing period for the class of 2010 - Channa Campbell of Lester, Ala.; Tysheka Grimes of Baton Rouge, La.; Alexis Rack of Franklin, La.; Bethany Washington of Houma, La.; Katherine Young of Redford, Mich.

  • Senior guard/forward Blessing Chekwa (107 GP/48 GS, 558 points, 399 rebounds)

  • Senior forward Chalandra Hilliard (51 GP, 38 points, 29 rebounds)

  • Senior forward Mamie McKinney (116 GP/73 GS, 641 points, 591 rebounds)
    -Her four blocked shots vs. Morehead State (12/19/05) in the MSU Classic are tied for fourth by an MSU senior in a game. This set an MSU Classic record for block shots in a game.
    -Her 27 blocked shots her senior season rank third on the all-time senior season-high list.
    -Her 71 career blocked shots put her in fourth place on the MSU all-time career chart.
    -She concluded her career seeing action in 116 games, tied for eighth among all-time MSU players.
    -She became the eighth Lady Bulldog to tally both 500 points and 500 rebounds in a career.

  • Senior guard Doceide Warren (109 GP/39 GS, 610 points, 335 rebounds, 235 assists)

    Head Coach Sharon Fanning Quotes

    Comments on the season....
    "The year had a different look to it. We started out giving it to the upperclassmen to take the reigns at the beginning of the year and then we went through some changes in lineups and then went through starting the SEC schedule, and that's always an adjustment. In the SEC we experienced some teams that had a lot of seniors. Sometimes we did have four freshman on the floor and three a lot of the times. That is just a difference in terms of the playing together and understanding the value of every possession. Then we finished up with Florida. I did feel like our team was making progress. We finished on a positive note finishing with the best output offensively and the work ethic and team chemistry it took to compete. We hope to carry that over to next season.

    "This past year is not acceptable from our standards. We had three seniors that had significant experience. They had been in the top four of the SEC and second round of the NCAAs. We graduated 70 percent of our points from the previous year and look to our senior class to provide leadership to our younger players. However, due to injuries, this did not happen on a consistent basis. Our schedule included 16 games against teams in postseason play. We played the 43rd toughest schedule in America. We expect this experience to pay off next season.

    "The good thing about this basketball team is that they never quit. Down the last third of the season we were in a situation where we were ahead of teams in the second half. The seniors we were depending on were not practicing as much, I think the endurance of the second half hurt our focus and us being able to execute down the stretch. I think that our players realize the importance of every possession and having to play together. We have to take better shots in a half court game. For us to be competitive with the teams we did down the stretch, to hold LSU to its second lowest point total this season and to play Florida scoring the most points we did this season. We played several teams with a lot of seniors. That is our expectation every year to be in postseason play. Those are goals we are going to be focused on."

    On role of underclassmen...
    "If you look at the lack of experience we had this past season and what they have gained throughout the year, that has to be a benefit. Six of our eight top scorers are returning next season. We started four freshman several games. They are competitive, smart and have a combined 3.2 GPA and have an excellent work ethic. We had a lot of difference combinations and different looks this season due to some people being out of ball games and I think that didn't help our continuity this season but it is valuable experience for the younger players in roles that they had not previously been in. As we look ahead we hope that that experience pays off.

    "This freshman class is competitive, smart and they work hard as a team. Those are things that if they carry over with their experience of the game, they can be good leaders. Miayorka, Tasha and Amy got valuable experience that they had not been in those situations before."

    On next season...
    "We return 71 percent of our points from this year's team and combined with the class of 2006 we have high expectations for the class of 2006-07. I think our team has a challenge ahead of us and by no means we can be complacent. It is totally unacceptable of how we finished the season. We have established a winning tradition to be in postseason play in seven of the last nine years. We are anxious to get back to those ways. Those younger players have to be committed on their own. I think next year will be a blend and we will have a learning curve with having one senior but with the experience, we can find a way to win ball games and carry over where we left off vs. Florida."

    On incoming freshmen class...
    "On paper this is the best class we have signed as far as the range of signing 1-5 positions. They have a lot of championship experience. They have a combined 3.5 GPA. This class is smart, hard working and is a mentally tough class. They have won and expect success. They are leaders on and off the court and are team players that will be great ambassadors for our university."

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