STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University women's basketball returns to action Thursday evening, hosting the 15th-ranked University of Georgia in a 6 p.m. contest at Humphrey Coliseum. General admission tickets for the battle between the Lady Bulldogs are available for $3 each as a part of the Family Night promotion.
Thursday's game can be heard via radio on 107.9 FM, WFCA based in French Camp, Miss., and Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) will broadcast televise the game via outlets located all over the Southeast. The game can be seen statewide on Comcast Cable and Charter affiliates. Veteran Mississippi State broadcaster Jim Ellis will provide the play-by-play action with former Auburn head coach Joe Ciampi serving as a color analyst.
Georgia has won the past three contest in the series. MSU's last win against their mascot counterparts came on Feb. 27, 2003, when MSU won 76-71 in Humphrey Coliseum. During the Sharon Fanning era, Georgia holds a 9-6 advantage over MState. Last season's 39-point Georgia win was the second-largest defeat for MState in the series. State's biggest win in the series was on Jan. 21, 1978, when MSU pulled off a 32-point victory.
Mississippi State is currently riding a six-game win streak, a first for the team since the 2004-05 season. In their previous outing, Marneshia Richard's 23 points and four steals led MSU to an 81-73 victory on Jan. 7 over No. 20 Arkansas. Imesia Jackson added 17 points for the visitors, with Miayorka Johnson contributing 11 points and Rack getting 10. The win was Mississippi States first over Arkansas since 2004 and only the second time the Lady Bulldogs have won in Fayetteville.
MSU continues to lead opponents in a majority of statistical categories. The Lady Bulldogs are out-scoring (+5.7) and out-rebounding (+3.3) opponents. MSU averages 64.3 points per game in comparison to the opponents 58.6 points per outing. In addition to recording 2.3 fewer turnovers (19.0-21.3) and tallying 1.2 more assists (13.1-11.9) and 1.3 more steals (11.3-10.0), MSU also has 0.8 more blocks (4.3-3.5) each time out.
Georgia enters Sunday's contest 13-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. The Lady Bulldogs have defeated Rutgers and Stanford already on the year. In their previous contest, Sylvia Fowles scored with 54 seconds remaining in the game to give LSU a 57-55 victory against Georgia. Reserve Christy Marshall led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points. On Jan. 4, Georgia opened the New Year on hosting Eastern Division rival Florida. Cori Chambers scored 23 points while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor to lead the Lady Bulldogs to 89-57 win. Tasha Humphrey passed Lady Hardmon to take over No. 15 on Georgia's all-time scoring ledger. Humphrey now boasts a career total of 1,404 points in just over two seasons as a Lady Dog.
The Lady Bulldogs are 17-33 all-time when playing a televised contest. Most recently, MState fell to Arkansas, 73-80, on March 3, 2005, in an SEC Tournament game shown on SEC-TV. State has played a total of nine contests on CSS, the last a 72-75 loss to Kentucky on Feb. 28, 2002. The two Lady Bulldog squads have faced each other four previous times in televised games with each team having two wins.
Following Thursday's outing, MState returns to action Sunday afternoon, Jan. 14, against SEC Western Division rival LSU in a 2 p.m. contest at Humphrey Coliseum.