News from MSU Media Relations--February 27

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Women's Basketball, Softball, Men's Basketball, Track & Field and Men's Golf.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior forward Lauren Roberts has been named to the 2008 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, as announced recently by the league office in Birmingham.

Roberts is native is an active member of organizations such as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, M-Club (MSU's student-athlete community service organization) and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. As part of the M-Club, Roberts has participated in special events ranging from the Thanksgiving food drive to Bully's Book Blitz. Roberts also has spoken at FCA events and taken time to have dinner with middle/junior high students in the area.

Roberts is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She has participated in various events supporting breast cancer awareness, the sorority's national philanthropy. She has also helped bring in donations for the community Animal and Rescue Adoption No-Kill Animal Shelter.

As a member of the women's basketball team, Roberts visits nursing homes and has participated in events like Compassion Pantry, the Christma Angel Project and Adopt-a- Player at Ward Elementary School.

Roberts is the daughter of Gina and Terry Roberts of Collierville, Tenn.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Heavy rains in the Birmingham area have forced the cancellation of Tuesday's non-conference meeting between the No. 15 Mississippi State softball team and UAB. The game will not be made up.

State (13-2) travels to Columbus, Ga., this weekend for the 2008 NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Bulldogs will open the five-game slate Friday with N.C. State at 10 a.m. and No. 11 Michigan at 12:30 p.m. MSU will meet Syracuse and UC Santa Barbara at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, on Saturday before closing the weekend against Massachusetts at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. All times are CST.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Edging closer to securing at least a share of their fourth SEC Western Division title in the last six seasons, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-8, 9-3) play host to the Tigers of Auburn University (14-11, 4-8) Wednesday evening on the MSU campus. Tip-off time for the non-televised 129th series renewal is set for 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum. The contest can be heard on XM Satellite Radio Channel 232 and on SIRIUS Channel 158.

Having already clinched a winning season in conference play for the fifth time during the Rick Stansbury era, the Bulldogs own an 18-8 overall record and 9-3 league mark after claiming a dramatic 61-56 overtime road triumph over South Carolina this past Saturday in Columbia. With the road win this past weekend, MSU has already surpassed last year's regular-season totals of 17 overall wins and eight SEC victories. In addition, the Bulldogs currently own a two-game lead over Arkansas in the SEC Western Division standings.

On the heels of limiting the Gamecocks to just 31 percent field-goal shooting, MState enters the week still ranked second nationally behind Georgetown (.360 to .366) in field-goal percentage defense. In conference play, MSU has held eight of 12 SEC opponents under 40 percent field-goal shooting on the year. Led by the nation's No. 1 shot-blocker in sophomore Jarvis Varnado (4.81 bpg), the Bulldogs also still remain second in the NCAA team rankings in blocked shots behind Connecticut (8.81 to 8.23 bpg). As a team for all games, MSU also paces the SEC in scoring defense (63.6 ppg) and rebounding (41.2 rpg; tied with Ole Miss).

Continuing to feature four players scoring in double figures on the season, the Bulldogs are led by junior all-America candidate Jamont Gordon, who ranks fifth in the SEC in scoring (17.5 ppg), third in assists (4.73 apg) and 15th in rebounding (6.3 rpg). Senior all-star forward Charles Rhodes stands 10th in the league in scoring (15.6 ppg), seventh in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and seventh in field-goal percentage (.553). Tied for third in the SEC with seven double-doubles on the year, Rhodes is averaging 18.4 points over his last eight outings. Sophomore guards Barry Stewart and Ben Hansbrough add 12.1 and 10.0 points per contest, respectively, and have combined to make 90 three-point field goals between them for the season.

Guided by fourth-year head coach Jeff Lebo, the Auburn Tigers are 14-11 overall and tied for third with Ole Miss in the SEC West with a 4-8 league mark after posting an 88-76 home triumph over rival Alabama this past Sunday on the Plains. Having also won at Ole Miss (90-78 on Feb. 16) since losing at home to MSU earlier this month, Auburn is led in scoring by senior forward Quan Prowell at 15.1 points per outing. Still without the services of injured junior forward Korvotney Barber, the Tigers get 13.6 and 13.1 points per game, respectively, from guards Rasheem Barrett and Frank Tolbert.

Including their 83-64 road win over Auburn earlier this month on the Plains as well as last year's season series sweep over AU, the Bulldogs have claimed 12 of the last 14 series meetings between these two teams dating back to the 2000-01 campaign. With a current seven-game series win streak at home over Auburn, MState has prevailed in those seven prior Starkville meetings against AU all by double figures and by an average margin of 21.3 points per home win over the Tigers. Individually, MSU's Rhodes is averaging a double-double (18.6 ppg & 10.0 rpg) in five career outings against the Tigers, including this month's 17-point, 10-rebound effort at Auburn. With three of his 13 career double-doubles having come against Auburn, Rhodes is shooting a collective 62 percent (34-of-55 FGs) from the field and 86 percent (25-of-29 FTs) from the line versus AU.

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Associate Head Track and Field Coach Steve Dudley has announced the signing of Justin Terry of Tallahassee, Fla., to a national letter-of-intent. Terry will begin competition for MState during the 2008-09 season.

Terry comes to MSU from Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill. Terry is the second Rend Lake College athlete to sign with MSU during the signing period (Darryl Jenkins).

Terry notched all-American status at the 2007 NJCAA Division I Men's Outdoor Championships. Terry was part of the Rend Lake College 4x400-meter relay tandem that won the national championship in the event. The Leon High-alumnus finished in the top 10 in the 200-meter dash, clocking an outdoor personal-best 21.61, helping his team to a program-best fourth place finish.

"This year's recruiting class has gotten even better with the addition of Justin Terry," said Dudley. "He was one of the top ranked high school quarter milers and is also a junior college all-American. We look forward to getting Justin on campus."

Terry attained a personal-best 47.22 at the 2007 Billy Hayes Invitational, grabbing fourth place. Terry ran at last year's Tyson Invitational, obtaining an indoor personal-best 21.82 in the 200-meter dash. He also posted an indoor personal-best time of 47.63 in the 400-meter dash en route to a first place finish at the Gladstein Invitational.

"I feel like Mississippi State will be the best place for me to succeed as far as furthering my education and track career," said Terry. "I hope to stay injury free and keep running fast."

Terry is the son of Zelma Terry. When arriving on campus in the fall, he plans on majoring in sports communication.

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior Noah Goldman has been named Southeastern Conference male golfer of the week, as announced today by the league office in Birmingham. The honor comes after Goldman claimed the individual title at the Roadrunner Intercollegiate in San Antonio, Texas this past week.

Goldman shot a 54-hole score of 212 for 1-under-par in helping MState to a first place finish. The Longwood, Fla.-native also notched a career-low 64 in round two, tying for third all-time in MSU's history. This is the second time Goldman has been named SEC male golfer of the week, the first coming in the third week of his freshman season after finishing as runner-up at the South Alabama Classic.

The junior currently leads the team in overall stroke average this season 71.3 strokes per 18 holes, as well as 213 strokes per three round score. Goldman who has played in six tournaments this year, has been MSU's top finisher a team-high four times and four top 20 finishes, including two top five finishes.

MSU resumes competition on March 2, when the Bulldogs will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete in the Seminole Intercollegiate.

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