News from MSU Media Relations--January 2

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

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State guard Alexis Rack has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week as announced by the league office in Birmingham today. Rack's honor marks the second consecutive week an MSU player has been named Freshman of the Week. Forward Tysheka Grimes earned the honor on Dec. 24, 2006.

Rack was pivotal in MSU's 62-56 win over Georgia Tech in the championship game of the Georgia Tech Holiday Classic on Dec. 30. She earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors after scoring a season-high 24 points, including hitting 6-of-9 from three-point range to tie for fifth on the all-time list for most three-pointers in a single game.

Rack scored on several occasions in the first half, helping MSU either tie or take the lead against the Yellow Jackets. MSU led by two at halftime and surrender that lead during the second half, but the Lady Bulldogs fought back to tie the game with less than two minutes remaining. Rack's made free throw with 1:44 left in the game put MState ahead for good in the six-point win.

Rack and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 2, taking on Mercer in a 4:15 CT time contest in Macon, Ga.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University women's basketball team (8-5) opens the New Year on Tuesday afternoon against the Mercer Bears (1-11) in a 4:15 p.m. CT contest at the University Center in Macon, Ga.

MSU and Mercer have not faced each other since the 1977-78 season when Mercer defeated the Lady Bulldogs 77-73 in Macon to extend their lead in the series to 2-0. In opponents played on at least two occasions, the 29-year drought between meetings is the second longest in school history. Mississippi State played Blue Mountain four times between 1974-85 and 1975-76 and has not faced the squad since. The Mercer drought is the longest by any current NCAA Division I school.

In its previous contest, freshman guard Alexis Rack tallied a season-high 24 points and drained a season-high six three-point field goals to lead MSU to a 62-56 win over Georgia Tech in the championship game of the Atlanta Northwest Marriott Georgia Tech Holiday Tournament. Her six three-pointers made tie her for fifth on the all-time list in the category (Tan White, Jessica Carter, Cynthia Hall).

In addition to hitting a free throw with 1:44 left in the game to give MSU a one-point lead they would not surrender, Rack was instrumental in keeping MSU within striking distance throughout the entire game. She was named Most Valuable Player for her efforts. The tournament title was the first for the Lady Bulldogs since winning the 2004 MSU Classic.

Mercer University enters Tuesday afternoon's contest coming off a 64-51 loss to UNC-Asheville in the Mercer Blade Holiday Classic. Erin Keller led the Bears with 13 points and shot 5-for-13 from the field while TaShera Lewis added 12.

Overall this season, MU is led by Lewis and Nicole Leonard, who each average 7.8 points per contest. Leonard also leads the team in rebounding, bringing down 5.8 boards each game.

The Bears' lone win of the 2006-07 campaign came against Bethune-Cookman (48-47) on Nov. 25, 2006 at the South Carolina Classic in Columbia, S.C. MU has faced three opponents MSU had defeated this season - Georgia Tech, New Orleans and SE Louisiana. The Bears have also faced future MState opponents South Carolina and Savannah State.

Following Tuesday's non-conference contest, the Lady Bulldogs open up Southeastern Conference play on the road against Arkansas in a 2 p.m. tip at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday, Jan. 7. MState returns home on Thursday, Jan. 11 to host Georgia in a 7 p.m. bout.

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