Lady Bulldogs Travel to Auburn

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 11th-ranked Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (21-6, 9-4) travel to Auburn, Ala. to take on the Tigers (17-9, 5-8) on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the last game of the regular season.

MSU is coming off a big come-from-behind win over 14th-ranked Georgia Thursday night, 76-71. Tan White's three-pointer with 38 seconds left to play gave the home standing Lady 'Dogs their first lead of the second half at 72-71. Freshman forward Mamie McKinney rebounded a Blessing Chekwa free throw to give White the game-winning trey opportunity. State sealed the victory with clutch free throws from Doceide Warren and White. MSU avenged a 76-71 loss to UGA on February 6.

MSU is enjoying a five-game winning streak with the win over Georgia. The Lady Bulldogs are led by senior All-American LaToya Thomas who is leading the SEC for her fourth straight year with 25.8 ppg. If Thomas can hold her standing in the statistics after Sunday¹s game, she will become the first player in SEC history to lead the league in all four years of her career. There have been four players that have led the conference three straight years: Joyce Walker, LSU; Wendy Scholtens, VU; Cornelia Gayden, LSU ( and Chamique Holdsclaw, UT.

Auburn comes into the game suffering three losses, most recently to Alabama, 67-62. Sophomore standout Natasha Brackett leads the Tigers with 16.3 ppg and 4.2 ppg and is fifth in the league with those numbers.

Auburn is very solid on the boards. The Tigers are #2 in the league in overall games in rebounding offense (42.9 rpg), #2 in offensive rebounds (15.42 rpg) and #3 in defensive rebounds (27.50 rpg). Normally averaging 42.9 rpg, Auburn was held to 31 rebounds in its loss to Alabama Thursday.

Sunday afternoon¹s contests will decide if the Lady Bulldogs are a No. 3, 4 or 5 seed in the 2003 SEC Tournament. The top four teams receive a first round bye and do not begin competition until Friday, March 7.

For MSU to take a 3-seed, Georgia has to lose to Florida and MSU has to win over Auburn. For a 4-seed, Georgia and MSU both win and are tied. If South Carolina defeats Mississippi and Vanderbilt loses to LSU, USC will be in fifth place; therefore, looking from the top to the bottom in SEC standings, UGA beat the Gamecocks, while MSU lost to USC. UGA will take No. 3 and MSU will take No. 4. For a 5-seed, MSU and Vanderbilt lose and Georgia and South Carolina win. MSU and USC will be tied and considering head-to-head competition, South Carolina will take the No. 4 due to the win earlier this season, leaving MSU with the No. 5 seed.

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