Lady Bulldogs Defeat Xavier 78-64

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Playing their first home game in over a month, the 17th ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs picked up their 10th win of the season with a 78-64 win over the Lady Musketeers of Xavier Thursday night in front of 1,497 in the Humphrey Coliseum. The Lady Bulldogs avenged last season's 74-72 loss to Xavier in Cincinnati.<P> "It was a huge win for us and great to be back home," Fanning added. "I'm pleased with the win and hopefully we'll improve for the next ball game."

MSU went on a 19-5 run to overtake the Musketeers four-point lead. XU led 13-9 at the 13:23 mark of the first half before the Lady 'Dogs went on the scoring spurt. They built their lead out to 16 points with less than two minutes left to play in the half. State took their largest lead of the half at 17 points on Tan White's trey at the buzzer.

"I felt like defensively we guarded harder," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "We rebounded and we hit a couple of three's and picked it up on defense," she added.

In the final 20 minutes the Lady Bulldogs maintained the double-digit lead until Xavier sliced the Maroon and White lead down to eight points with 3:46 left in the game. State would build their lead back out to the final margin of 14 points. Xavier shot just 41 percent from the field.

"They turned up the intensity and got some big rebounds that led to easy baskets," said Xavier head coach Kevin McGruff.

Sophomore guard Tan White led MSU in the scoring column with 23 points. White was 10-for-21 from the field. LaToya Thomas also reached double figures with 14 points, going 8-for-11 from the charity stripe.

State is getting production from some of their freshmen in the starting lineup and off the bench.

Freshman Blessing Ckekwa added nine points. Freshman Doceide Warren came off the bench to score 13 points, while freshman Mamie McKinney added eight points.

"We are just starting to get more comfortable," said freshman Mamie McKinney. "It's just happening sooner than people expected."

Xavier placed three players in double figures in the scoring column. Freshman Tara Boothe poured in a career-high 22 points, with eight of her points coming from the free throw line. Amy Waugh finished with 21 points. She was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

The Maroon and White close out their two-game homestand on Monday, hosting the Lady Blazers of UAB. Tip off between the Lady Blazers and Lady Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.

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