News from MSU Media Relations--November 3

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

OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State (6-12-1, 2-8-1 Southeastern Conference) held archrival Mississippi scoreless in the opening period, but a second-half goal put the Rebels (7-7-5, 4-4-3) up for good as UM took a 1-0 win over MState on Friday night in Oxford.

The Rebels held ball possession throughout first several minutes of the half. The Bulldogs were able to get several penalty kick opportunities outside the box but were unsuccessful in finding the net.

Mississippi charged hard towards the maroon defensive backline to find all scoring chances blocked. With both teams holding each other at bay, the half ended in a scoreless tie.

State came out strong in the second half, but the Rebels found a scoring opportunity at the 65:10 mark as Austin Brown broke away dribbling through the maroon line to put UM up 1-0.

The Rebels held State for the remainder of the half to retain the Magnolia Cup for another season. In her final game at MSU, Treena Ferguson has three shots on the evening, two on target.

Women's Tennis
AUBURN, Ala. - Mississippi State's Radka Feramcova notched a win in Flight 2 Saturday at the SEC Fall Coaches' Classic to advance to the round of 16 of that draw. MSU also got a doubles win in consolation play in that flight.

In the second singles flight, Ferancova faced Soledad Podlipnik of Mississippi and proceeded to win in straight sets 6-1, 7-5. Ferancova will face Georgia's Naoko Ueshima in quarterfinal action on Saturday. Also in Flight 2, MSU's Daniela Juskova took on Natasa Vuckovic of South Carolina. Juskova fought hard but ultimately fell 6-1, 6-3. In the consolation round, Juskova faced Tennessee's Jennifer Meredith who defeated her 6-3, 6-2.

In State's lone doubles action Saturday, Valeriya Makarycheva and DeAndra Saddler matched up against Auburn's Jil Hasternrath and Mary Claire Slade in Flight 2 consolation. In that matchup, MSU triumphed with an 8-2 win over the duo from host school Auburn.

In other singles action during the day, Flight 1 had a pair of Lady Bulldogs competing. Elna de Villiers ran in to the nation's 107th-ranked player - Alex Haney of Auburn - who defeated her 7-5, 6-3. Also, Renée Joseph faced another Auburn Tiger in Melissa Koning to whom she eventually fell 6-3, 6-1. De Villiers and Joseph will both compete in the consolation round tomorrow.

Flight 3 also featured a pair of Lady Bulldogs. Makarycheva dropped a hard-fought match to Merritt Emery of Alabama 6-1, 6-1. Also in the third flight, State's Tatiana Feit was bested by Mississippi's Soledad Poplipnik 7-5, 6-0. Both Makarycheva and Feit will compete in the consolation round on Saturday.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coach Rick Stansbury's Mississippi State Bulldogs open their two-game home exhibition basketball slate by playing host to the Patriots of the University of the Cumberlands Saturday afternoon on the MSU campus. Tip-off at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 2 p.m., and there will be no charge for admission into the exhibition contest.

The defending SEC Western Division champions will then take on their second NAIA exhibition opponent of the preseason this Tuesday evening (Nov. 6) by welcoming the reigning NAIA champion Oklahoma City University Stars. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in Starkville, and there will again be no charge for admission into the game.

Picked in the league's preseason media poll to finish second in the SEC West race, MState returns seven lettermen, including preseason all-SEC standouts Jamont Gordon and Charles Rhodes, from last year's 21-14 State squad that advanced to the MasterCard NIT Semifinals at New York's famed Madison Square Garden. A junior guard/forward from Nashville, Gordon begins the 2007-08 campaign as a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Bob Cousy Award after ranking 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. Rhodes, a two-time, all-SEC second-team selection, ranked as MSU's No. 2 scorer (13.7 ppg; 17th in SEC) and second-leading rebounder (6.2 rpg; 12th) last season for the Bulldogs. The Jackson native also finished fourth among league leaders in field-goal percentage (55%) and sixth in blocked shots (1.9 bpg).

Currently riding a nine-game winning streak in exhibition competition, the Bulldogs own a 15-2 composite record in preseason contests since Stansbury took over MSU's head coaching duties in 1998. Last season, Mississippi State knocked off NAIA members Auburn-Montgomery (88-61) and Oklahoma City (71-64) during preseason action.

Affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and located in Williamsburg, Ky., the University of the Cumberlands returns two starters from last year's 20-11 club that finished 2006-07 ranked 14th in the final NAIA poll. A season ago under head coach Don Butcher, the UC Patriots led the nation in 3-pointers made per game (10.45) as well as three-point field-goal percentage (44.3%). Picked to finish fourth in this year's Mid-South Conference preseason coaches poll, UC figures to be paced by senior forward Mike Gibson. The Chicago native ranked second in the NAIA last season in three-point percentage (48.4%) while averaging 10.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest.

MSU's Stansbury earned his master's degree and served as a graduate assistant coach at Cumberland College (now known as the University of the Cumberlands) during the 1983-84 season. The head coach at Cumberland at the time was Randy Vernon, who now serves as the school's athletic director.

Mississippi State will officially tip off the school's 96th season of men's basketball collegiate competition by playing host to Louisiana Tech out of the Western Athletic Conference next Saturday, Nov. 10. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. at MSU's Humphrey Coliseum, following MState's 11:30 a.m. football battle with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs will continue their season-opening, three-game basketball homestand by entertaining the ACC's Clemson Tigers and Tennessee-Martin of the Ohio Valley Conference on Nov. 15 and 17, respectively.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's basketball preps for its upcoming season this weekend as the Lady Bulldogs welcome DT3 to the Humphrey Coliseum for a 2 p.m. exhibition contest on Sunday. Admission is free.

Head Coach Sharon Fanning enters her 13th year of leadership of the MSU women's basketball program after becoming the 29th NCAA Division I coach to reach the 500-win mark on Nov. 10, 2006. Two new faces in Assistant Coach Greg Franklin and Director of Operations Joey Burton join the coaching staff this season, and along with the additions, MState returns 12 letterwinners - including all five starters - from a year ago.

The Lady Bulldogs begin their 34th season of competition next Friday, Nov. 9. Tipoff between the Lady Bulldogs and the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions is set for 7 p.m. at the Hump.

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's golf team concludes the 2007 fall season ranked 28th nationally on Golfstat. Golfstat rankings are the official rankings used by the NCAA to determine postseason play.

The Bulldogs ended the season with three straight top-five showings and consecutive runner-up finishes. MState began the season with a tie for sixth place at the Scenic City Invitational, notching an 865 at the par 71 Council Fire Golf Club. MSU responded by winning their second straight Magnolia Cup against archrival Mississippi at Old Waverly Golf Club, by scoring a 273, the lowest one-round total during the Clay Homan era. Following their victory, the Bulldogs finished in a tie for fifth place at the Memphis Intercollegiate, which was rain-shortened into two-rounds. Another rain-shortened tournament followed at the Mason Rudolph Invitational, where MSU finished second with a one-round score of 284. MState closed out the season at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship, scoring a 1-under par 863 in the three-round event.

Junior Matt Fast sported the lowest stroke average of the fall. Playing in four of the five fall tournaments, Fast averaged 71.43 strokes per round. Was also the Bulldogs top finisher at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship, where he tied for seventh. Junior Noah Goldman was the top finisher a team-leading two times, playing in only four of the five fall events. Goldman for the second straight year was the Magnolia Cup medalist, meaning the top finisher in the dual match between MSU and in-state rival Mississippi, with a career-low 6-under par 66. Redshirt senior Josh Oller made appearances in the first three Bulldog tournaments averaging 72.83 strokes per round. Freshman Brad Thompson, also saw his first action at the Scenic City Invitational.

Juniors Carlos Sainz, Jr., Logan Young and Josh Bevell competed in all five of the Bulldog's tournaments this fall. Young averaged a career-best 72.2 strokes per round that included a career-low round of 66 for 5-under par at the Scenic City Invitational. Young also tied his career-best finish when the Memphis, Tenn., native tied for third at the Memphis Intercollegiate. Bevell, a walk-on transfer from Mississippi College, was MSU's top finisher at the Scenic City Invitational, tying for 17th with a 1-over par 214. The Southaven, Miss., native also shot a 67 in the Magnolia Cup to tie for second. Sainz, Jr., had a top-10 finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate and shot one-stroke shy of his career-low round, with a 68 at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate Championship.

"Consistency top-to-bottom is what got us to this point and will hope to lead us to the postseason in the spring," said Head Coach Clay Homan. "We did not have one guy in particular stand out for us, but we had five-to-six guys who played well for us all season and that is what it takes for us to compete at this level."

MSU is one of eight SEC teams included in the top 30 Golfstat rankings, including University of Tennessee (25th), University of Florida (19th), University of Mississippi (17th), University of South Carolina (15th), Auburn University (10th), University of Alabama (4th), and the University of Georgia (2nd). The four remaining SEC schools are all included among the top 75.

MSU will open their spring season in Gainesville, Fla. at the Gator Invitational on February 9, 2008.

Mississippi State University Head Coach Jay Miller has been selected by the Italian Softball Federation to conduct a four-day training course in pitching next week in Pisa, Italy. Former all-American Suzie Parra from Arizona will assist Miller in the clinic.

Miller is no stranger to international experience. In the early 1990s, Miller served on the National Team selection committee that was in charge of choosing the inaugural USA Softball Team that competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He has also served as a head coach with the USA Red Squad that captured Gold in the 2001 U.S. Cup and the USA Elite Team that took home runner-up honors at the 2002 Canada Cup and the championship of the 203 Canada Cup.

He also served as an assistant for the USA National Team that won gold at both the Pacific Rim Sports Summit and the International Cup in 2005. In 2006, Miller led the U.S. to the Junior Women's Pan American Championship.

Most recently, Miller led the United States Junior National team to a Gold medal showing at the 2007 Junior Women's World Championships in Enschede, The Netherlands.

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