#12 Lady Bulldogs Face Alabama

STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 12 Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (14-4, 3-2) hosts Alabama (11-7, 1-4) on Thursday at 7 p.m. (CT) in Humphrey Coliseum. The Lady Bulldogs most recently fell to No. 4 Tennessee, 82-68, in Knoxville on Sunday while the Crimson Tide found its first win in the conference against Mississippi, 81-70.

MSU's No. 12 ranking by the ESPN/USA TODAY/WBCA Coaches poll is the highest in women's basketball history. This is the third time this season that MSU has set a new ranking record, starting with 15th before the season began.

Senior forward LaToya Thomas and sophomore guard Tan White will lead the Lady Bulldogs. Thomas is averaging 24.6 ppg, fifth in the nation. White is averaging 3.6 spg, 13th in the country.

MSU is four home wins shy of tying the best undefeated homecourt streak under head coach Sharon Fanning. The Lady Bulldogs have seven straight wins at home under their belt but are looking to top Fanning's 11-0 homecourt run during the 1999-2000 season. That run was brought to a halt by LSU on Jan. 30, 2000 when they defeated MSU, 64-58.

Alabama leads the series versus MSU, 31-4. The last meeting was in Tuscaloosa, Feb. 7, 2002, where the Crimson Tide defeated MSU, 92-86. The Lady Bulldogs are 1-15 when hosting UA in Starkville. They have won one game in each of the past three decades, two in the 70's. The last game MSU won in Starkville was the first meeting between the two schools, Jan. 15, 1977, 110-74.

Alabama is hot from 3-point land, leading the SEC in 3-point field goals made averaging 7.11 per game. Senior guard Beth Vice leads the SEC in 3-point field goals made with 2.83 per game. Vice has made 51 treys on the season. Vice is averaging 13.2 ppg. Senior center Jamilah Johns is pulling down 8.4 rpg.

The two schools share two non-conference opponents in South Alabama and Houston. UA lost to both while MSU defeated the two. Senior center Jamilah Johns is from Starkville, Miss. and graduated from Starkville High School.

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