LSU Overcomes Lady Bulldogs, 77-72

STARKVILLE, Miss. ­ The 11th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (16-6, 5-4) saw its 35 minute lead over fourth-ranked LSU Lady Tigers (20-1, 8-1) dwindle in the last five minutes of the game in an eventual 77-72 loss Sunday afternoon in Humphrey Coliseum in front of a record crowd of 6,055.

MSU got off to a quick start out-scoring LSU 14-4 with 15:20 left in the opening half. They pushed that 10-point lead out to as many as 12 points two different times in the first half. State led 27-15 at the 7:31mark, but the Lady Tigers went on an 18-9 scoring run to trim the MSU lead down to three points at 36-33 going into the halftime break.

"You have to have people making some open shots," said MSU head coach Sharon Fanning. "To take good shots, you have to reverse the basketball and get the extra screen."

After MSU led the entire second half by as many as seven points, LSU took its first lead of the game at 5:06 and never looked back. The game was only tied two more times after the lead change. MSU suffered its first loss in the Humphrey Coliseum this season (8-1) and for the second time the Lady Tigers broke MSU's homecourt streak. They previously broke the Lady Bulldogs' 11-game streak in the 1999-2000 season.

Senior forward LaToya Thomas paced the Lady Bulldogs with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas was a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe and also dished out three assists. Sophomore Tan White finished with 12 points and four assists. White was held in check in the final half, scoring just two points in the final 20 minutes.

"I made my first shot, but I had a hard time after that. They stopped my penetration, I went into a slump after they stopped my penetration," said Tan White.

Freshman Blessing Chekwa reached double-figures for the sixth time this season with 11 points and five boards. Sophomore forward Rebecca Kates, who was celebrating her 20th birthday on Sunday, contributed nine points.

"I want to thank everyone for coming out, I feel that we let our fans down," said Fanning. "They made a difference in terms of when we got in it and getting the lead. It will take crowds like this for our program to continue to grow."

LSU placed four starters in double figures. Temeka Johnson led the Purple and Gold charge with 19 points and nine assists. Fourteen of her 19 points came in the second half. Jackson, Miss. native Ke-Ke Tardy finished with 15 points, while Doneeka Hodges added 14 of her own. Aiysha Smith contributed 13 points in the win. LSU's leading scorer Seimone Augustus was held to just six points this afternoon.

The Lady Bulldogs step out of Southeastern Conference play on Wednesday playing host to the Privateers of New Orleans. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.


  • This afternoon's crowd of 6,055 set a new attendance record at Humphrey Coliseum for women's basketball. The previous record was 5,863 Feb. 17, 2000 vs. Tennessee.
  • MSU suffered its first home loss of the season.
  • MSU is now 4-32 all-time versus the Lady Tigers and have lost 11 in a row.

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