News from MSU Media Relations--October 26

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Soccer, Men's Basketball, Men's Tennis & Women's Golf.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's soccer team scored two goals late in the second period but their comeback fell just short, as the Bulldogs (6-10-1, 2-6-1 Southeastern Conference) dropped a close 3-2 decision to the Kentucky Wildcats (8-6-3, 2-6-1 SEC) on Thursday night at the MSU Soccer Field.

With rain falling for the entire match, Kentucky controlled the flow of the first half with the Bulldog defense stopping many scoring opportunities for the Wildcats. UK found the back of the net first at 21:32 when Sarah Gaunt scored on a quick shot off a defensive block from MState goalkeeper Taryn Holland.

Trying to recover from the first goal, State's Lauren Host pushed through the defense and got two shots off that were both wide.

After the Wildcats' first goal, both squads fended off scoring attempts, but just before the half the Wildcats got a break when a Mississippi State own goal put the 'Cats up 2-0.

During the second half, State's defensive back line stood strong and blocked several shots in the scoring zone. Kentucky got an opportunity to break the defensive cycle when Nicola Holdsworth got a header in the net from Tara Herold's corner kick with 79:56 on the clock.

With only six minutes left in the game, State found a scoring opportunity off a Kentucky foul. On a penalty kick, Meredith Jacobson aimed for the back of the right pocket and scored to give the Bulldogs their first goal of the night and her first of the season.

"Meredith is our penalty kicker, she is calm and cool and knows when to step it up," said MSU Head Coach Neil Macdonald.

With two minutes left to play, Bethany Frazier's corner kick found its way to the back of the net off a header by Jacobson.

State travels to Nashville on Sunday to face the Vanderbilt Commodores in a 2 p.m. contest from the VU Soccer Complex.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The preseason honors keep coming for Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon, as the junior guard/forward has been chosen to the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List. The 50-member watch list was announced Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Rating as the only underclassman to make the 2006-07 Coaches All-SEC First Team, Gordon ranked among the SEC's top 10 leaders in scoring (16.0 ppg; 7th in SEC), rebounding (7.1 rpg; 9th) and assists (5.3 apg; 2nd) a year ago as a sophomore. The Nashville native earned the distinction of being the only NCAA Division I player to average 16.0+ points, 7.0+ rebounds and 5.0+ assists per contest last season for coach Rick Stansbury's SEC West Champion Bulldogs.

Entering his junior season 26 points shy of the 1,000-point mark for his career, Gordon hails as the SEC's second-leading returning scorer behind Tennessee's Chris Lofton. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound all-America candidate also begins the 2007-08 campaign ranked ninth on MState's all-time list with 316 career assists. The former Oak Hill Academy standout has started all 65 games of his two-year MSU career, while averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists an outing.

The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. In January, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its list to the top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.

Also included on this year's Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List from the SEC are Lofton, Arkansas' Patrick Beverley and Marreese Speights of two-time defending NCAA champion Florida.

Earlier in the week, Gordon was also named one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, along with being tabbed as All-SEC First Team by preseason voting of a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will conclude fall play this weekend at the Crimson Tide Fall Championships held on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. State will join players from 24 other teams from around the country for singles and doubles play.

Competing for the Bulldog netmen will be senior Philippe Frayssinoux, junior Ryan Farlow, sophomores Chris Doerr and Pjotr Necajev along with freshman Maximilien Genuini. Currently leading the Bulldogs is Frayssinoux who is 11-3 in singles this season and is ranked 40th-nationally. The Plasir, France, native is the top seed in the "Bryant" draw of the tournament and will receive a first-round bye. In the "Musso" draw, Farlow and Doerr will compete starting in the Round of 16. Genuini will compete in the "Stabler" draw while Necajev will play in the "Stallings" draw. Two Bulldog teams will also be competing in doubles play.

"This is an important tournament for us from a mental standpoint," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "We want to continue to improve and we want to finish the fall out strong this weekend. We want to look at it as an opportunity to get more quality competition in before the spring to make us the best that we can be."

Play will get underway Friday at 9 a.m. CT and will continue thru Sunday.

Women's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's golf team will close out fall play this weekend (Oct. 26-28), at the UA-Ann Rhoads Intercollegiate held at the Northriver Yacht Club Golf Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Lady Bulldogs will join 17 other teams in competition for the three day event, which includes nine teams ranked in the nation's top 35.

Competing for MSU this weekend will be the same lineup from the previous three tournaments this fall. Senior Julia Huh will be competing in her team-leading 30th career tournament this weekend. The Pasadena, Md., native is coming off a tie for 12th place finish at the Lady Paladin Invitational last weekend which included a final round 70, which matched a career best round. Freshmen Mallory Batson and Erika Thornton will be competing in their fourth-straight tournaments while sophomores Gina Sharp and Suzanne Stanley will be playing in their ninth and 12th straight tournaments respectively dating back to last season.

Currently, Huh and Batson are tied for the team lead in stroke average with a 76.33. As a team, the Lady Bulldogs are averaging a 305.88 per 18-holes and have a 54-hole average of a 917.67.

"This is the strongest field we will see all year next to the SEC Championship in the spring," said MSU head coach Christi Sanders. "The team is ready to rebound after last week's disappointing finish. To continue moving up the rankings, we know we will have to have a good scoring average and place well this weekend."

State will begin play Friday with a 9:40 a.m. CT tee time on the 10th hole. Saturday's second round will get under way at 8 a.m. CT, while Sunday's final round will begin at 8:40 a.m. CT with a shotgun start.

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