News from MSU Media Relations--November 20

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

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University women's basketball team continues its seven-game homestand Monday evening by hosting Belmont University. Tip-off for the contest is slated for 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.

MState and Belmont are scheduled to meet for only the second time. MSU and BU previously met on Feb. 18, 1998 with MSU winning, 73-52. State enters Monday night's contest 2-0 on the season. Mississippi State is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Head Coach Sharon Fanning and her squad have been impressive at home against non-conference opponents over the past 11 seasons. MSU is 66-6 in non-conference games at home and sports a 118-58 overall record against those schools.

With two games down in the 2006-07 season, the MSU Lady Bulldogs hold a 26-43 turnover advantage (+8.5 margin) over their opponents. MState has also out-rebounded their opponents 96-76 (+10 margin). MSU holds a +19 scoring margin over opponents.

State junior Imesia Jackson leads the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points per game and sophomore Robin Porter leads the team in rebounding, bringing down eight rebounds per contest. Last Friday against Southeastern Louisiana, Porter recorded her fourth career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

A member of the Atlantic Sun conference, Belmont is 1-1 on the year, falling to Purdue in the First Round of the Preseason WNIT, 43-67, and defeating Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 80-67, on Saturday evening. MSU is 4-3 all-time versus the Atlantic Sun conference.

Belmont is led by Alysha Clark, who averages 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Jessica Bobbitt is also averaging 10.5 rebounds per game for the Bruins.

Overstreet Elementary School principal Diane Baker will be Monday night's guest coach. Fans in attendance will also have a chance to win a turkey just in time for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Following Monday's contest, the Lady Bulldogs return to action after the Thanksgiving holiday. MSU hosts Mississippi Valley State on Sunday, Nov. 26 in a 2 p.m. contest at The Hump.


Cross Country
STARKVILLE , Miss. - Senior distance standout Jennifer McPherson will represent Mississippi State University at the Division I 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championship on Monday, Nov. 20 in Terre Haute, Ind. The women's portion of the championship will begin at 11 a.m. CST.

McPherson becomes the third Lady Bulldog to earn an individual bid to compete for the national title. She joins former MState competitors April Ecke (1995) and Tiffany McWilliams (2003) who have competed as an individual at the national meet. The Nampa, Idaho product also joins McWilliams as the only two MSU women to earn the distinction of running in all three NCAA Track and Field Championships - indoor, outdoor and cross country. McPherson competed in the women's 1500-meter preliminaries at the outdoor meet and the one mile competition at NCAA indoors.

She earned a spot in the 2006 NCAA Championship meet after finishing 16th at the region 8K race with a time 21: 50.5. McPherson acquired All-South Region status for the second time in her Lady Bulldog career. The Lady Bulldog was awarded region status in 2004 as a sophomore. She becomes the fourth Lady Bulldog to earn the honor twice in a career, joining former distance standouts April Ecke (1992, '93), Meggan Hodge (2001,'02) and Tiffany McWilliams (2002, '04). With the All-Region selections for 2006, MState has had at least one Lady Bulldog earn the status since 2001.

McPherson led the MState women to meet wins at the Sewanee Invite and the Crimson Classic this season. She was State's top-finisher in four of the six meets during the campaign with her best finishes of second and third respectively to open the season (Sewanee and Crimson Classic). The Lady Bulldogs posted a fifth-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championship in Oct. McPherson turned in a time of 21:06.50 to place 22nd in the 6K event in Baton Rouge, La.

The other three individuals selected from the region include - Lanni Marchant of Chattanooga, Julia Hicks of Alabama and Katherine Herring of Belmont. Four Southeastern Conference teams were selected on the women's side - Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.


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