About the Lady Techsters:
The Lady Techsters, who are 5-4 all-time against the Lady Bulldogs, have a storied history having won 3 national championships in 1981, 1982, and 1988. They have produced many players who have gone on to star in the WNBA including Cheryl Ford and current head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon took over the Lady Techsters on an interim bases last season on February 9th, 2009 and led them to a 9-2 finish. The finish was good enough for a share of the Western Athletic Conference crown and earned them a bid in the WNIT. The school decided to keep her on as head coach following the impressive finish. The Lady Techsters started off the 2009-2010 season strong defeating Centenary, Nicholls State, and Arkansas State during a three-game win streak. They lost their first game of the season 77-74 to the then #7 ranked team in the nation, the LSU Lady Tigers. The Lady Techsters lost their next match-up versus the #8 ranked Baylor Lady Bears who was led by 6'8" freshmen phenom Brittney Griner. Griner scored 22 points, pulled down 8 boards and blocked 6 shots in the 77-67 Baylor victory. The Lady Techsters got back on the winning track with a 63-52 victory over Western Kentucky.
Projected Starting Line-Up:
About the Lady Bulldogs:
The Lady Bulldogs had a bit of resurgence last season after 5 years of missing the NCAA tournament following the loss of LaToya Thomas in 2003 to the WNBA. The Lady Bulldogs went 23-10 and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament where they were put out in the second round by Ohio State. The Lady Bulldogs looked to build on the success of the 2008-2009 season coming into this year. They did just that with a season-opening four-game winning streak that included victories over Arkansas Pine Bluff, East Tennessee State, Utah Valley, and then #20 ranked Maryland. Alexis Rack scored a career best 43 points in the victory over Maryland as the Lady Bulldogs moved up to #19 in the AP poll. The Lady Bulldogs then traveled to the Paradise Jam Tourney which proved to be bad luck as the Lady Bulldogs lost all three contest against #13 Texas, Rutgers, and USC. The Lady Bulldogs got back to their winning ways by defeating the University of Southern Mississippi soundly 85-52 thanks to the scoring efforts of Alexis Rack and Mary Kathryn Govero who both scored 21 in the victory.
Projected Starting Line-Up:
Alexis Rack-Rack is the go-to scorer for the Lady Bulldogs, averaging 19.1 points a game this season while supplying 4.5 assist and 2.25 steals a game. She has improved her scoring average every year and earned 1st team All-SEC last season. Coach Sharon Fanning will look to the former state of Louisiana Miss Basketball if they get down against the Lady Techsters.
Shanavia Dowdell- Dowdell, the reigning WAC Player of the Year, has had a strong start to the season averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds. Look for the Lady Techsters to go to Dowdell early in the game to take advantage of the Lady Bulldogs lack of size upfront.
The game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters is a matchup of two up-and-coming basketball teams that have different styles of play. The Lady Bulldogs play an up tempo game that keys on their perimeter game, which is led by Alexis Rack who is averaging 19.1 points a game. The Lady Techsters are powered by the inside game, which is led by Adrienne Johnson and Shanavia Dowdell who average 33.4 points combined. A key factor in this game is turnovers. In seven of their eight games this season, the Lady Bulldogs have caused their opponents to turn the ball over 20 or more times. And the Lady Techsters, who don't have a legitimate ball-handler, are the perfect team for the Lady Bulldogs to face as they have averaged 17 turnovers a game so far this season. The winner of this game could very well be decided by which team can control the tempo of play early on.
Jeremiah Short is a sports writer who covers various Mississippi State sports for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at email@example.com