Lady 'Dogs Open With Win Over SE Louisiana

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 34th season of Mississippi State women's basketball got off to a good start Friday night as the Lady Bulldogs beat Southeastern Louisiana 71-55 to tip off the 2007-2008 campaign.

With the win MState improves to 32-2 in home openers and remains undefeated (13-0) in the Sharon Fanning era.

The Lady Bulldogs overcame shooting woes in the first half to lead the Lady Lions 26-20 at the half. MSU shot only 32 percent from the field and missed all nine of their attempts from three point range in the opening half.

Marneshia Richard led the team with eight points at the break while Imesia Jackson had six. The Lady Bulldog defense was the story in first 20 minutes of play, forcing 18 turnovers, seven of which were steals. Mississippi State was able to score 13 points of Lady Lion miscues in the first half.

In the second half, the MSU offense began to match the success of its defense. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50 percent from field and also ended their drought from behind the arc with two, three point buckets.

Not to be unmatched, MSU defense continued to apply pressure to Southeastern Louisiana with seven more steals in the half. Bethany Washington led the team with 5, while five other Lady Bulldogs recorded at least one steal.

Mississippi State was also able to control the boards as they outrebounded the Lady Lions 42-33, Imesia Jackson led all players with eight. Jackson was also the leading scorer for both squads with 19 points and just two rebounds shy of her fourth career double-double.

State also had three others scoring in double figures: Marneshia Richard had 18, Tysheka Grimes with 14, and Bethany Washington contributed with 10. Kristy Carlin led Southeastern Louisiana with 14 points.

The Lady Bulldogs shot 73.9 percent (17-23) from the free throw line.

MSU continues its homestand hosting the Centenary Ladies on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.

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