Mississippi State University Sports News
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Elijah MacNamee

STARKVILLE – A historic night at the "Carnegie Hall of College Baseball" saw five-straight strikeouts to start the game for redshirt-junior starting pitcher Ethan Small. The offense exploded for 14 runs between the sixth and eighth innings in the season-opening 14-3 victory over Youngstown State on Friday (Feb. 15) night at the new Dudy Noble Field.
 
The 8,503 fans in attendance saw the unveiling of the "Thunder and Lightning" statues honoring Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro, and a ceremonial first pitch from legendary head coach Ron Polk before the first game in the new $68-million home of Diamond Dawg baseball.
 
With the Bulldog (1-0) offense off to a slow start, Small struck out the first five Penguin (0-1) batters he faced on his way to a career-best 11 strikeouts. His total was one more than his 10-strikeout effort against Utah Valley on March 9, 2018. Overall, he allowed two runs on four hits and didn't walk a batter in five innings of work.
 
After the Penguins added a run off of senior reliever Peyton Plumlee in the top of the sixth inning to make it 3-0 in favor of the visiting team, State responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to knot the score. The big hit came via a two-run home run from sophomore Tanner Allen to tie the game at 3-3, while sophomore Jordan Westburg plated the first RBI with a double.
 
The eighth inning featured 11 runs on nine hits, including a three-run home run by Elijah MacNamee and two-RBI hits from junior Gunner Halter and sophomore Rowdey Jordan. Allen added a pair of RBIs in the inning, Westburg plated a run with a single and sophomore Josh Hatcher collected a pinch-hit RBI single.
 
Plumlee tossed two innings and allowed one run on one hit. He walked one and struck out two. Graduate student Cole Gordon threw a perfect eighth inning to extend his scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings, dating back to last season. Junior Colby White allowed one and struck out three batters in his first appearance in the maroon and white.
 
In the process, head coach Chris Lemonis earned his first victory as the Bulldogs skipper. Lemonis joins eight other Bulldog head coaches that won their first contest as head coach. John Cohen, Jimmy Bragan, Paul E. Gregory, S.L. Robinson, F.P. Plass, S.A. Jehl, S.W. Scales and G.C. Creelman all won their first game as the Maroon and White's head coach. Polk won the first game of his second stint as the MSU skipper in 2002.
 
Quotables
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On the atmosphere
"It was pretty good, huh? I told our guys that we are going to take it in while we take the national anthem because it was just really cool to stand out there and to have just the whole day-- going to the pregame ceremony, meeting the former players. It's just been a cool day all the way around, but the atmosphere was awesome."
 
Ethan Small
On the offense coiming around late
"If there is anything I know about our offense is that it's going to come around eventually. As a starting pitcher, there was never a moment where I doubted them. They're slapping balls over the field right at people and that's baseball, as everybody says. Seeing them come back and score 14 runs, it was just like, 'well, I knew it was coming.' For me, it was just staying on my process and taking in what's coming."


Tanner Allen
On his home run to get the Bulldogs back in the game
"It was a moment I'll never forget, hitting a home run on Opening Day at Dudy Noble, especially the "New Dude." The first couple of hits, it felt like every ball we hit hard, [but it] went right to somebody. Finally, we got a ball in the open swing zone, [I] put a good swing at it and tied the ball game."


Quick Hitters
Mississippi State
Ethan Small – Fanned a career-high 11 batters in five innings of work. Allowed two runs on three hits and didn't walk a batter.
Tanner Allen – Tied a career-high with four RBIs and scored a career-best three runs. Posted two hits, including his sixth-career home run
Jordan Westburg – Tied his career-highs with four hits and three runs scored. Added two RBIs on the night.
Cole Gordon – Extended his scoreless innings streak to 16 2/3 innings with a clean eighth inning. Struck out two.
Collecting Hits – Nine Diamond Dawgs collected hits on the night, including multi-hit games from Allen, MacNamee and Westburg.
Putting it in Play – On the night, Mississippi State posted 14 hits and walked four times in 44 plate appearances. The Bulldogs also struck out just twice.
Collecting the First – Landon Jordan collected his first collegiate hit in his first collegiate start at designated hitter. Gunner Halter had a pair of RBIs and one hit in his first start for Mississippi State. Colby White threw a scoreless frame with three strikeouts in his Bulldog debut.
 
Youngstown State
Colin Clark – Threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed just three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Trevor Wiersma – Drove in three RBIs, including a two-run home run.
 
Scoring Recap
Top 4
Youngstown State opened the scoring with a two-run home run off of Small in the fourth inning. After Jeff Wehler led off the inning with a single, Small stuck out the next batter, before Trevor Wiersma hit the two-run home run to right-center field.
Youngstown State 2, Mississippi State 0
 
Top 6
The Penguins put the first two base runners on via single and walk against MSU reliever Peyton Plumlee. A wild pitch moved the lead runner to third base and, with one out, a ground out scored YSU's third run of the game.
Youngstown State 3, Mississippi State 0
 
Bottom 6
The State offense got rolling in the bottom half of the sixth inning, starting with a leadoff double from Jake Mangum. After a ground out, Jordan Westburg doubled, scoring Mangum, and Tanner Allen knotted the score with his sixth career home run to left field.
Mississippi State 3, Youngstown State 3
 
Bottom 8
The offense exploded in the eighth inning, scoring 11 runs on nine hits. The first eight batters reached base, with all eight coming around to score, and six different MSU hitter drove in RBIs. MacNamee smacked a three-run home run, Allen added a pair of RBI singles, and Rowdey Jordan and Halter each had a two-RBI hit in the frame. Westbug and Hatcher each added RBIs in the inning, as well. Justin Foscue, Rowdey Jordan, Westburg and Allen each reached base twice in the inning, with Allen, Jordan and Westburg each scoring two runs in the frame.
Mississippi State 14, Youngstown State 3
 
Up Next
The Bulldogs return to Dudy Noble Field for a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at Noon.
 
Ceremonies surrounding day two of opening weekend will include an on-field recognition of all former Diamond Dawgs and the ceremonial first pitches from Jeff Brantley, Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro at 11:35 a.m. All baseball alumni should meet at the Diamond Dawg tailgate at 11:20 a.m. in upper Left Field Lounge terrace to then be escorted down to the field. The Baseball Alumni Tailgate will open at 10 a.m. in upper terrace in Left Field Lounge.
 
The inaugural Ron Polk Ring of Honor class will be inducted between games one and two on Saturday, with the ceremony being streamed live on the video board. 
 
Sunday's game ticket can be used for entry into the games Saturday, but will be honored as general admission or standing room only tickets. All Saturday reserved seat tickets will be valid for entry into the reserved seating areas. 
 
Single game tickets are on sale now by contacting the ticket office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS or clicking here.
 
-- HailState.com --

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Nick Weatherspoon

by Matt Dunaway, Associate Director/Communications
 
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Mississippi State will look to build on its momentum from its midweek victory over Alabama when the Bulldogs start a stretch of four of their next six games on the road at Arkansas on Saturday.
 
Tip time is on-tap for 7:30 p.m. CT televised by SEC Network and available online through the WatchESPN platform. Richard Cross and Daymeon Fishback will serve as the announcing team.
 
The Razorbacks hold a 33-28 all-time series advantage. However, the Bulldogs have won three of the last four meetings over Arkansas under fourth-year coach Ben Howland. Mississippi State captured a 78-75 victory behind a career-best 22 points courtesy of Nick Weatherspoon last season in Starkville.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Matchup: Mississippi State (17-7, 5-6 SEC) at Arkansas (14-10, 5-6 SEC)
Where: Fayetteville, Arkansas – Bud Walton Arena
When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. CT
Live Stats: StatBroadcast (https://hailst.at/MBKLiveStats)
 
TV: SEC Network
Talent: Richard Cross, Daymeon Fishback
Online: https://hailst.at/MSUvsARK0216
Radio: Mississippi State Sports Network – Powered by Learfield/IMG College
Talent: Neil Price, Richard Williams
Affiliates: WKBB-FM 100.9 Starkville/West Point (Full List: https://hailst.at/MBKAffiliates)
Free Online Audio: Hail State Plus (https://hailst.at/MBKListen); Tune-In Radio App (https://hailst.at/MBKTuneIn)
Sirius/XM: NA (Sirius), Ch. 386 (XM), Ch. 977 (Internet)
 
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE
1. Mississippi State enters Saturday's action three wins shy of collecting consecutive 20-win seasons for the 10th time in program history. Six of the previous nine occurrences have come during the 2000's, the last time was the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The Bulldogs have won a combined 42 games over the previous two seasons, the program record is 49 victories during a two-year span.
 
2. Quinndary Weatherspoon continues his charge up Mississippi State's all-time scoring list and heads into Saturday's matchup at Arkansas 25 points shy of passing Rickey Brown (1977-78-79-80) for fourth place. His 18.0 points per game are third in the SEC rankings. The Jerry West Award Top 10 Finalist has tucked away double figures in 22 of 24 games this season and 96 times during his career. Weatherspoon has poured in 20 or more points on 10 occasions which includes three of his last four outings. Mississippi State is 23-3 and has won 15 of its last 16 games over the last two seasons when Weatherspoon reaches the 20-point barrier.
 
3. Reggie Perry has been inserted into Mississippi State's starting five during the last four games. He has responded with a double-double in three of those last four games most recently a 14-point, 10-rebound effort versus Alabama on Feb. 12. Perry has dialed up 14.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game over his last six games. He has posted his top three scoring performances during the six-game run. Perry has grabbed 7.8 rebounds per game in SEC action which is tops among freshmen and fourth overall on the SEC leaderboard.  
 
4. Lamar Peters and Aric Holman have garnered 12.8 points and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Both players have accounted for 955 career points which is 45 shy of 1,000 for their careers. Peters amassed a SEC season's best 22 points and a career-high four steals against Alabama on Feb. 12. He is one of nine major conference players to pile up 300 points and 125 assists for the season. The Bulldogs are 13-3 this season when Peters hands out five or more assists. Holman will look to return to double digit points for the first time since the LSU game. His 12 double-doubles are third among SEC active players.
 
5. Robert Woodard II has averaged 7.8 points per game over his last five outings … He has tallied a season-high nine points on three occasions, the last coming against No. 5 Kentucky on Feb. 9 … Nick Weatherspoon has chipped in 9.6 points per game and managed double figures in 11 games on the season … He filled the stats sheet with six points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists during the Alabama game … Tyson Carter has come away with double figures in 13 games this season … Mississippi State has won 22 of 26 games over the last two seasons when Carter scores 10-plus points … Abdul Ado has notched 8.0 points and 2.0 blocks per game in his last two appearances … The 10 points against Alabama was Ado's highest point total since scoring 12 at South Carolina during the SEC opener on Jan. 8 … Ado has registered 104 blocks in 57 games which ranks ninth on MSU's all-time list.
 
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
The Razorbacks (14-10, 5-6 SEC) have won three of their last five games highlighted by a 90-89 triumph at LSU on Feb. 2. Arkansas will close the regular season with four consecutive Saturday home games where the Razorbacks have posted a 25-6 record which includes victories in nine of its last 10 decisions under head coach Mike Anderson.
Daniel Gafford (16.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 1.0 SPG) is a Sporting News Midseason All-America pick and one of 10 finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award awarded to the nation's top center. He is one of five players in the nation to shoot 60 percent from the field while averaging over 15 points and eight rebounds per game. Gafford has piled up eight games of 20-plus points this season highlighted by three of his last four appearances.
 
Isaiah Joe (14.2 PPG, 1.5 SPG) and Mason Jones (13.7 PPG, 3.0 APG, 1.0 SPG) have combined to connect on 137 of 182 three-pointers by Arkansas. Joe has dialed up double figures in 20 games sparked by seven of his last nine outings He leads all NCAA freshmen with a 43.9 three-point percentage. Jones sank the go-ahead field goal in the closing 25 seconds at LSU on Feb. 2.  
 
Jalen Harris (8.8 PPG, 5.6 APG) ranks first in the SEC and inside the nation's top 15 with a 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. He has dished out five or more assists in 14 games which includes a 10-assist effort at Missouri on Feb. 12. Harris provided a season's best 17 points at South Carolina on Feb. 9.  
 
UP NEXT
The Bulldogs continue their stretch of four of six games on the road when Mississippi State travels to Georgia. Tip time is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT from Stegeman Coliseum. The game will be televised by SEC Network and available online through the WatchESPN platform.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
Mississippi State Men's Basketball Media Session 
February 15, 2019 – Humphrey Coliseum


Head Coach Ben Howland
Q: Since the Alabama game, is there any indication that the level of play from that game can be sustained going into Arkansas?
BH: "Well, we had the day after the game off. We practiced yesterday. I thought we had a good practice, especially early when we were working on our defense to prepare to guard a very difficult team to guard in Arkansas. Especially with [Daniel] Gafford inside; [Isaiah] Joe and [Mason] Jones on the perimeter. They've got good players. There was a lot of stuff to go through yesterday because of the schemes that they run. They do a lot of pressing, play some zone and different types of presses. I felt good about our effort yesterday."
 
Q: With Reggie Perry's relationship with Arkansas prior to coming to Mississippi State, have you talked to him at all about it going into this game?
BH: "I kind of already spoke to him about it already in terms of in front of the team. He knows that there will be a bunch of people probably rooting against him there. He's just got to stay focused on what's important, and that is doing his best to help our team be successful."
 
Q: Arkansas plays really hard inside. Do you think your last few opponents have helped with defending inside?
BH: "They have a really good post player. [Daniel] Gafford is a first-round pick. I think he's amazing. I watched him against LSU. He was great in that game. Those guys are really good inside players that LSU has. He is really special. Gafford probably could have left last year and been a top 15 pick. He's probably moved himself up higher than that with his play this year. In terms of big guys, this will be one of the biggest challenges if not the biggest we've had [all season]."
 
Q: Abdul Ado had a good game offensively the other night against Alabama, what do you expect to see from him going forward?
BH: "I thought he had a good practice yesterday. We had some extra shooting for a number of the players for which he was one of. He did a good job there. It was great. It was great to see him aggressive, look to score around the basket and see his teammates getting him the ball. I thought Lamar [Peters] did a good job feeding him a number of times – all of his teammates did.
 
"That's exciting, just his [Ado's] aggression. You all know how hard he plays. He played really hard and aggressively against a very good post guy as you pointed out in [Donta] Hall. He had a big basket late in that game where he turned and powered right over him [Hall] with the right hand hook. It was a really impressive move."
 
Q: How much of an addition is Derrick Zimmerman to your staff?
BH: "That's a great question. Derrick [Zimmerman] has been an incredibly positive influence on our program and on our players. He has a great relationship with the kids. He spends a lot of time with them in terms of on the floor, rebounding for them and doing extra with them whenever they want to shoot more."
 
"He also spends a lot of time with them. They will come up to the office and spend time with him. They have a great respect for him. That respect that they have for him therefore makes his relationship more meaningful and more impactful. They trust him. He's very honest. I think he's been a huge positive for our team and for our program. I'm really excited that he's here, and I'm pleased with the job that he's been doing."

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Men's Tennis

by Caleb Garner, Graduate Assistant/Communications

CHICAGO 
– Despite extending its NCAA-leading doubles point streak to 18 matches, the No. 3 Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped a tough 4-1 decision to No. 15 TCU in the opening round of the 2019 ITA National Team Indoor Championship Friday morning.
 
The Bulldogs (6-1) notched a pair of hard-fought victories in doubles action to earn a quick 1-0 lead, but the Horned Frogs (5-2) surged back to take all six first sets in singles and go on to earn the win at the Midtown Athletic Club.
 
"TCU played great," head coach Matt Roberts said. "We got outplayed in singles today. We were exposed with our service games indoors, and TCU came after us. They served big and transitioned well. We fought well, it's what we do best—we battle and we fight. We feel good as a team. We're a close-knit group and we just have to get cleaner indoors. We have to play bigger and hold serve."
 
State's duo of Trevor Foshey and Gregor Ramskogler gave MSU a quick advantage in doubles action, taking a 6-2 victory over TCU's Luc Fomba and Sander Jong on court 3. The Horned Frogs evened up the doubles count shortly after on court 2, with No. 48 Bertus Kruger and Reese Stalder posting a 6-3 win against MSU's sixth-ranked Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini, setting up an exciting finish on court 1.
 
There, a tight battle waged between MSU's No. 34 Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic and TCU's Alastair Gray and Alex Rybakov, with both sides holding serve effectively to force a match tiebreaker. In the breaker, Borges and Rakic stormed out of the gate to a 4-1 lead before Gray and Rybakov cut the lead to 4-3. The Bulldog duo fought right back to go up 6-4, before the Horned Frog pair made it 6-5. Then, State's tandem buckled down, breaking at 6-5 to take the match and keep MSU's doubles point streak alive at a nation-leading 18 matches dating back to the 2018 campaign.
 
"I'm really happy with our doubles," Roberts said. "I loved how we fought in doubles today. Nuno and Strahinja were clutch in closing out the breaker."
 
TCU would respond quite strongly in singles, however, taking all six first sets.
 
The Horned Frogs knotted things up at 1-all when Stalder earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Rakic on court 3. Moments later, Jong replicated Stalder's outcome with an identical score against MSU's Florian Broska on court 6 to put TCU up 2-1.
 
Kruger, ranked 83rd nationally, put the Horned Frogs within striking distance of the win with a tight 7-5, 6-3 triumph against State's 64th-ranked Braun on court 4.
 
With second-set tiebreakers going on courts 1 and 5, TCU's Fomba finished first, taking a 6-4, 7-6(3) decision against the 98th-ranked Bulldog Foshey at No. 5 after Foshey had broken back at 5-4 down in the second set to force the breaker. The Horned Frogs' eighth-ranked Rybakov led No. 5 Borges 7-6(5), 6-6 (1-0) on court 1, while Gray and MSU's No. 66 Oradini were locked in a three-set battle on court 2 with Gray up 6-2, 3-6, 3-2 but Oradini up 40-love, when play was suspended.
 
"We'll get better," Roberts said. "We need matches indoors, we need these situations and we need to be pushed. Tomorrow's a great day for us to get better and learn from it."
 
Next Up For MSU …
The Bulldogs will return to the courts at the Midtown Athletic Club at 9 a.m. Saturday, taking on No. 9 Baylor in the first match of the consolation draw. The Bears, seeded 10th, fell 4-0 to No. 8 North Carolina on Friday in their tourney opener.
 
For more information on the Mississippi State men's tennis program, follow "HailStateMT" on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
 
 
No. 15 TCU 4, No. 3 Mississippi State 1
February 15, 2019
Midtown Athletic Club – Chicago, Illinois
 
Doubles
1. #34 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MSU) def. Alastair Gray/Alex Rybakov (TCU) 7-6(5)
2. #48 Bertus Kruger/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. #6 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MSU) 6-3
3. Trevor Foshey/Gregor Ramskogler (MSU) def. Luc Fomba/Sander Jong (TCU) 6-2
Order of finish: 3,2,1
 
Singles
1. #8 Alex Rybakov (TCU) vs. #5 Nuno Borges (MSU) 7-6(5), 6-6 (1-0) (susp.)
2. #66 Giovanni Oradini (MSU) vs. #75 Alastair Gray (TCU) 2-6, 6-3, 2-3 (susp.)
3. Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) 6-4, 6-1
4. #83 Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. #64 Niclas Braun (MSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Luc Fomba (TCU) def. #98 Trevor Foshey (MSU) 6-4, 7-6(3)
6. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Florian Broska (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,6,4,5

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by Taylor Shirey, Assistant Director/Communications 

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – In a back-and-forth contest that went down to the wire, No. 25 Mississippi State softball used a three-run sixth inning to take down Sacramento State on Friday at Nancy Almaraz Field.
 
With the game locked at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, redshirt sophomore Montana Davidson plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly before junior Fa Leilua added a two-run home run to give Mississippi State some breathing room.
 
Leilua closed the game going 2-for-3 with two home runs and a career-high five RBI. It was the second game this season that Leilu has recorded multiple home runs. Redshirt freshman Kinsey Goelz tallied two hits in the contest, both doubles, for the first base hits of her collegiate career.  
 
MSU struck first in the bottom after getting two runners into scoring position after a Hornet error, senior Bevia Robinson grounded out to second to score Goelz to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
 
Sacramento State rallied in the top of the third using a walk, hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position. Sophomore Emily Williams fired back with a strikeout, but the Hornets struck together a two-out rally with four singles to take a 4-1 lead.
 
The Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the third getting sophomore Mia Davidson on via an infield single before senior Sarai Niu drew a walk to bring Leilua to the plate. The junior slugged her first homer of the game with a no doubter to left field to lock the game up at 4-4 with one swing.
 
The game would stay tied until the bottom of the fifth when Goelz, who doubled, scored on a single from Robinson to give MSU the one-run lead. Once again, Sacramento State responded in the top of the sixth with a solo home run from XXX Rasmussen to lock the game back up at 5-5.
 
It was MSU's sixth inning that put the game away for the Bulldogs. After a walk to Mia Davidson and a fielding error by the Hornets, Montana Davidson drove home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Leilua would slug a two-run home run to push the lead to a decisive 8-5.
 
In another stellar relief appearance, freshman Grace Fagan (2-1) tossed 4.1 innings in the circle, allowing just one run off two hits and walk, while striking out four to pick up the victory.

2019 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 14
Game 1 – Southern Illinois def. Mississippi State, 4-1
Game 2 – No. 5 Washington def. Mississippi State, 7-5

Friday, Feb. 15
Game 3 – No. 25 Mississippi State def. Sacramento State, 8-5
 
Friday, Feb. 16
Game 4 – No. 25 Mississippi State vs. UCF – 12:30 p.m. CT

On Deck
State closes out the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on Saturday against UCF. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. CT.

Watch Live
All four of Mississippi State's contests in Puerto Vallarta will be streamed live via www.FloSoftball.com. A paid subscription is required to access the game feeds.
 
Live Stats
Mississippi State will provide live stats throughout the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. Live stats can be accessed by visiting www.msu.statbroadcast.com

Follow the Dawgs
For more on Mississippi State softball, follow the Bulldogs on TwitterFacebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateSB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap".
 

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McCowan Lisa Leslie

by Brian Ogden, Assistant Coordinator/Communications

STARKVILLE –
Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan is one of 10 remaining candidates for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Friday. The finalists will be announced in early March.
 
The award is presented to the nation's top center in NCAA Division I. Five finalists will be presented to Lisa Leslie and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.

The Brenham, Texas, native leads her team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.0 ppg and 13.7 rpg for the No. 5 Bulldogs. She is one of just two players in the SEC to be among the top 10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding, along with teammate and Katrina McClain candidate Anriel Howard.
 
McCowan holds the MSU record with 59 career double-doubles, including 20 this year, which is tied for third in the nation. She is the SEC's active leader and MSU career record holder with 1,344 rebounds. McCowan leads the SEC and ranks second in the country in rebounding, and her field goal percentage (64.9 percent) tops the conference and is seventh nationally.
 
MSU travels to College Station on Sunday, February 17, to face Howard's former school in Texas A&M. State and the No. 22/23 Aggies will tip off on SEC Network at 1 p.m.
 
2019 Lisa Leslie Award Candidates
Kalania Brown - Baylor
Kristine Anigwe - California
Channon Fluker - CSU Northridge
Megan Gustafson - Iowa
Beatrice Mompremier - Miami (Fla.)
Hallie Thome - Michigan
Teaira McCowan - Mississippi State
Janelle Bailey - North Carolina
Brianna Turner - Notre Dame
Jordan Moore - TCU

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2018-19 season*
 

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Next Match

by Emily Pschigoda, Student Assistant/Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. 
– Mississippi State women's tennis will conclude its current seven-match homestand with a Saturday afternoon twinbill against North Alabama (2-2) at Noon, with the second match directly following, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The Bulldogs (7-2) look to improve on a 35-match winning streak in non-conference home contests, with three opportunities left before SEC play begins.
 
Currently on a five-match win streak, MSU has six players holding active, multi-match singles streaks. Senior captain Anastasia Rentouli, included in that six, currently owns a nine-match streak of her own. Under 10th-year head coach Daryl Greenan, MSU is 79-34 (.700) in non-conference matches. Admission to all MSU home matches is free.
 
Bulldogs In The Oracle ITA Rankings …
Two Bulldogs hold top 100 national spots in singles and doubles. State sophomore Magda Adaloglou rests in the No. 98 singles spot, holding an 11-8 overall singles mark through fall tournament play and four dual matches. True freshman Emma Antonaki is the 82nd-ranked player nationally, boasting a 15-6 overall record in singles action during her rookie campaign, including the highest ranked victory by a rookie in program history. Adaloglou and Antonaki moved up in the latest rankings, standing as the No. 42 tandem in the country with a 5-2 ledger and two top 60 triumphs to their credit.
 
Know The Foe: North Alabama
MSU's final opponent of the seven-match homestand comes to Starkville with a 2-2 mark. State's last time meeting with the Lions came in 1990, resulting in a 5-2 decision in favor of the Bulldogs. The Lions are 8-16 individually in singles so far in 2019 dual match action, also collecting a 6-6 doubles mark. In 2018, the Lions went 12-7, with the squad's most notable victory coming over 25th-ranked Valdosta State (Feb. 24).
 
Need To Know …
  • Mississippi State is playing its 94th season of women's tennis, with Daryl Greenan in his 10th season at the helm.
  • The series between MSU and North Alabama dates back to 1976 with the Bulldogs leading 2-0.
  • The teams will meet in Starkville for just the second time overall, with State taking the last meeting in 1990, in a 5-2 decision.
  • The Bulldogs have won their last 35 non-conference matches at home. 
  • Under Greenan, State is 79-34 (.700) in non-conference matches.
  • True freshman Emma Antonaki leads the Bulldogs' newcomers in singles wins (15) in 2018-19, with two top 60 wins.
  • Senior Anastasia Rentouli currently stands 4th all-time at MSU in total career victories (136), 2nd in singles wins (79).
  • The 2018 All-SEC selection Rentouli is also undefeated (7-0) so far in 2019 in dual match singles action and holds a nine-match singles win streak overall.                               
  • Six Bulldogs currently hold multi-match, active win streaks.
 
Promotions
  • FREE Admission
  • Poms
  • Up to 275 Hail State Rewards Points
  • Tennis ball toss for a free TV between doubles and singles
 
Live Video/Scoring
For all home matches at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, live video and scoring can be found at www.hailstate.com/livewt.
 
Last Time Out For MSU …
For the second weekend in a row, MSU posted a Saturday doubleheader sweep. State took 7-0, 4-0 decisions over Alabama State on Saturday (Feb. 9), looking ahead to a third match on Sunday (Feb. 10) against UAB. The Bulldogs toppled UAB in a hard-fought 6-1 match to improve to 7-2 on the season. MSU has now outscored opponents 28-1 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre this year.
 
Next Up For MSU …
After three weeks in Starkville, the Bulldogs will hit the road for their final non-conference match leading up to SEC action. MSU will travel to Tampa, Florida, to face the Bulls of South Florida (4-3) at Noon next Friday, Feb. 22. 
 
For more information on the Mississippi State men's tennis program, follow "HailStateWT" on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
 

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Lawrence Roberts - SEC Legend

by Matt Dunaway, Associate Director/Communications
 
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Mississippi State basketball great Lawrence Roberts will be honored as the Bulldogs' Allstate SEC Basketball Legend selection at the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (March 13-17).
 
Roberts was a two-time All-SEC First-Team selection during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons at Mississippi State after he transferred from Baylor. He became MSU's first consensus All-America First-Team honoree since Bailey Howell in the late 1950's and was named SEC Player of the Year in 2003-04.
 
Roberts is one of four players to average a double-double in their MSU career. He was an instrumental part to the Bulldogs winning the 2004 SEC regular season title.
 
Roberts was a second round pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2005 NBA Draft before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies where he spent two seasons before spending several professional seasons in Europe.
 
2019 Allstate® SEC Basketball Legends
Erwin Dudley (2000-03) – Alabama
Corey Beck (1992-95) – Arkansas
Mike Mitchell (1975-78) – Auburn
Livingston Chatman (1987-91) – Florida
Jumaine Jones (1997-99) – Georgia
Johnny Cox (1957-59) – Kentucky
Wayde Sims (2016-18) – LSU
Melvin Booker (1991-94) – Missouri
Lawrence Roberts (2003-05) – Mississippi State
Justin Reed (2001-04) – Ole Miss
Carlos Powell (2001-05) – South Carolina
Mike Jackson (1973-77) – Tennessee
Antoine Wright (2002-05) – Texas A&M
Derrick Byars (2005-07) – Vanderbilt
 
Mississippi State Allstate® SEC Basketball Legends
1999, Bailey Howell
2000, Jim Ashmore
2001, W.D. Stroud
2002, Jeff Malone
2003, Joe Dan Gold
2004, Greg Carter
2005, Jack Bouldin
2006, Rickey Brown
2007, Richard Williams
2008, Wiley Peck
2009, Tony Watts
2010, Kermit Davis
2011, Darryl Wilson
2012, Chuck Evans
2013, Horatio Webster
2014, Erick Dampier
2015, Doug Hutton
2016, Mario Austin
2017, Dontae' Jones
2018, Ray White
2019, Lawrence Roberts
 
UP NEXT
The Bulldogs return to the road for the first time in two weeks and meet Arkansas on Saturday. Tip time is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT from Bud Walton Arena. The game will be televised by SEC Network and available online through the WatchESPN platform.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Dudy Noble Field

STARKVILLE – With the threat of inclement weather on Sunday, the Mississippi State baseball program has announced that it will now play a single game on Friday (Feb. 15) and a doubleheader on Saturday (Feb. 16) to open the new Dudy Noble Field.
 
The opening day schedule will remain the same, with the pregame ceremonies surrounding the opening of the "Carnegie Hall of College Baseball" beginning at 1:30 p.m. and first pitch against Youngstown State coming at 4 p.m. In addition, legendary head coach Ron Polk will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at 3:40 p.m.
 
On Saturday, State will play a pair of games starting at Noon, with game two beginning 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
 
Sunday's game ticket can be used for entry into the games Saturday, but will be honored as general admission or standing room only tickets. All Saturday reserved seat tickets will be valid for entry into the reserved seating areas. 
 
Ceremonies surrounding day two of opening weekend will include an on-field recognition of all former Diamond Dawgs and the ceremonial first pitches from Jeff Brantley, Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro at 11:35 a.m. All baseball alumni should meet at the Diamond Dawg tailgate at 11:20 a.m. in upper Left Field Lounge terrace to then be escorted down to the field. The Baseball Alumni Tailgate will open at 10 a.m. in upper terrace in Left Field Lounge.
 
The inaugural Ron Polk Ring of Honor class will be inducted between games one and two on Saturday, with the ceremony being streamed live on the video board. The class includes Jeff Brantley, Will Clark, the late David "Boo" Ferriss, the late C.R. "Dudy" Noble and Rafael Palmeiro. The Ferriss and Noble families, along with Brantley, Clark, Palmeiro and Polk will be in attendance for the unveiling.
 
Following the doubleheader, Kids Run the Bases, presented by LeBonheur is scheduled to occur, weather dependent.  The Drew Wilson 'Lil Dudes Zone located beyond the right field wall will be available when gates open on both days, weather dependent.
 
Single game tickets are on sale now by contacting the ticket office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS or clicking here.

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Ross Bell

By Austin Coats, Student Assistant/Communications

GAINESVILLE, Fla. –
After a 111-day break, Mississippi State men's golf coach Dusty Smith and his team will play its first tournament of the spring this weekend at the Florida Gators Invitational.
 
State will play two opening rounds Saturday before the tournament finishes with Sunday's third round at the par-70, 6,701-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course. Live results will be available via Golfstat.com.
 
The Gator Invitational field features nine Golfstat.com Top 100 players, including MSU's Peng Pichaikool. In the fall, the junior took three top 10 finishes in as many events in the Maroon and White. More recently, Pichaikool was named to watchlists for the Haskins and Ben Hogan Awards. On Thursday, he was ranked third in the newest Arnold Palmer Cup International Team ranking.
 
Ranked 14th in Golfstat.com's Top 100, Pichaikool is the second-highest ranked player in the Florida Gators Invitational field, eclipsed only by No. 13 Steven Fisk of Georgia Southern.
 
Four more Bulldogs fill in Coach Smith's lineup card. Senior Ross Bell is back in the starting five after leading the team at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational, MSU's final fall event. His fourth-place finish was a career-best and the second-best finish for any MSU individual this season.
 
Junior Garrett Johnson is set to start his 17th consecutive tournament, a streak that stretches back to the 2016-17 season. In the fall, Johnson sported a 71.67 stroke average and picked up tied-for-13th and tied-for-18th finishes.
 
Two freshmen, Ford Clegg and Austin Vukovits, get the nod for the weekend. Clegg played in all four of MSU's tournaments during the fall and closed 2018 with a season-best tied-for-11th finish. Vukovits played in States' third event of the season, the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, where he sunk a hole-in-one during the second round.
 
In the fall, the Golf Dawgs picked up two top-5 finishes as team to begin year two of the Dusty Smith era, including a runner-up performance at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational to close 2018.
 
The 15-team field includes No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 19 North Florida, No. 29 Liberty, No. 38 West Virginia, No. 41 Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, Jacksonville, Michigan, Missouri, Princeton, Southern Illinois, UCF, USF and the host, No. 33 Florida.
 
The Bulldogs have played in Florida's home event 20 times since 1977, and its best performance came in 1989 when State finished as the runner-up.
 
MSU men's golf coach Dusty Smith:
 
"I am really excited for the start of the spring season. I felt like we had a very focused and productive off season. This is the next step in our process. We need to make sure we are disciplined, tough and resilient this week. This golf course will test you in every way, and it's important that we remain focused on what we can control: our attitude and our effort. We talked as a team this week that it's time to go compete. You have to love the competition and become the ultimate competitor. I know the five representing our program this week are excited for this opportunity."
 
Golfstat.com Top 100 Players (9)
13. Steven Fisk (Georgia Southern)
14. Peng Pichaikool (Mississippi State)
17. Will Gordon (Vanderbilt)
29. Phillip Knowles (North Florida)
32. John Augenstein (Vanderbilt)
37. Patrick Martin (Vanderbilt)
53. Max Sear (West Virginia)
85. Matthew Sharpstene (West Virginia)
86. Gabe Lench (Liberty)
 
For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching @HailStateMG.

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Dudy Noble Field

STARKVILLE – The nearly three-year transformation of Dudy Noble Field is finished and the Mississippi State baseball program is set to open the 2019 season with a historic three-game series to christen the new "Carnegie Hall of College Baseball" this weekend against Youngstown State.
 
The weekend includes the unveiling of the "Thunder and Lighting" statues, paying tribute to Bulldog greats Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro, on Friday (Feb. 15), as well as inducting the inaugural class of the Ron Polk Ring of Honor on Saturday (Feb. 16).
 
Full details for the events surrounding opening weekend can be found at hailstate.com/openingweekend.
 
Breaking Down the Weekend
Friday, Feb. 15 – 4 p.m.
Probably Starters
MSU: Ethan Small, LHP, R-Jr.
YSU: Colin Clark, LHP, So.
 
Live Video: https://hailst.at/2GJvdEC
Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio
Live Stats: https://hailst.at/2GK5tb9
 
Saturday, Feb. 16 – 2 p.m.
Probably Starters
MSU: JT Ginn, RHP, Fr.
YSU: Chad Coles, RHP, So.
 
Live Video: https://hailst.at/2GFWesG
Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio
Live Stats: https://hailst.at/2GJUwGw
 
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Noon
Probably Starters
MSU: Keegan James, RHP, R-Jr.
YSU: Jon Snyder, RHP, R-Fr.
 
Live Video: https://hailst.at/2GK5JH9
Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio
Live Stats: https://hailst.at/2GK5YSz
 
Along with the audio stream of each game, the Mississippi State Baseball Radio Network and WKBB 100.9 in Starkville will carry all three games this weekend.
 
Quick Hitters
  • Senior Jake Mangum is chasing a couple of high-profile records entering the 2018 season, including the Mississippi State and Southeastern Conference all-time hit records. MORE ON PAGE 4
  • Mississippi State enters the season ranked in all six major polls, including three top-15 rankings. Along with the program's ranking, State is slated to see as many as 10 ranked teams during the 2019 season. MORE ON PAGE 4 & 5
  • Graduate Cole Gordon enters the 2019 campaign with two degrees in hand, along with a 15 2/3-inning scoreless streak. Gordon's streak began in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional and moves into the 2019 campaign still intact. MORE ON PAGE 4
  • Mississippi State will meet Youngstown State for the first time in program history this weekend, with only one other Horizon League team on the all-time results list, that being UIC during the 2017 campaign. MORE ON PAGE 5
  • Head coach Chris Lemonis enters his first season at Mississippi State after spending four seasons as the head coach at Indiana. Lemonis went to three NCAA Regionals and amassed 141 victories during his time with the Hoosiers. BIO ON PAGE 3
  • The new Dudy Noble Field opens its gates for the 2019 campaign, with the newly constructed stadium featuring a multitude of upgrades and fan-friendly amenities. BIO ON PAGE 7
 
Series Notes
  • Mississippi State will meet Youngstown State for the first time in program history this weekend, marking the first of three new opponents into the record books (Maine, Nebraska).
  • Last season Mississippi State added eight new opponents to the record books: Alabama State, Houston, McNeese State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, Southern, Texas Southern and Utah Valley. State was 9-2 in those contests.
  • Youngstown State is a member of the Horizon League, with the only other meeting against the conference for the Bulldogs being a 2017 NCAA Hattiesburg Regional contest vs. UIC.
  • The only other meeting with a university that begins with a Y came in 1967 at the UC Riverside National Tournament. State toppled Yale, 7-6.
  • Against programs from Ohio, Mississippi State owns an all-time mark of  12-4-1. That record includes meetings with Akron (2-0) Cincinnati (3-0), Kent State (2-0), Miami (Ohio) (1-1) and Ohio State (4-3-1).
  • The first meeting with a team from the Buckeye State came in 1967 versus Ohio State at the UC Riverside National Tournament, an 11-4 victory.
  • The most recent meetings came against Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio) to open the 2015 season at Dudy Noble Field. MSU swept three games from the Bearcats and beat the RedHawks, 7-1, in the second game of the season.
 
Promotions
Opening weekend will feature a host of ceremonies and giveaways, with Friday featuring the first of seven commemorative baseballs being handed out to the first 1,000 fans. Saturday's game will feature a commemorative cup promotion for the first 1,000 fans. Fans need to enter though the home plate or right field entrance to pick up the promotional items.

For all regular season home games at Dudy Noble, MSU students will be admitted into the games for free with their student ID and Bully's Kids Club members will also receive free admission.
 
Fans can upgrade their game day experience with multiple options throughout the year from HailState.com/memories.


Dudy Noble Field Policies
Gates open two hours before first pitch on game day and the stadium gates will close one hour after the conclusion of each game. The right field terrace is a public, grill-free, first come first served area. Should fans wish to purchase ice at Dudy Noble, they will be able to do so behind the center field wall in the Left Field Lounge.
 
Approved coolers cannot exceed the maximum size of 10" by 10" by 10" after gates open, with coolers exceeding the restriction size prohibited. Other prohibited items include alcoholic beverages, smoking (in all areas), weapons, fireworks, electric power generators, pets, non-approved banners and signs, bicycles, any illegal substances, carts, wagons, wheeled supply carriers, personal tailgate tents (on concourse or lawn areas) and lawn chairs on sidewalks or concourse areas.
 
All bags are subject to search and security screening, along with items prohibited from being stored along stadium fencing and gates. MSU encourages fans to leave all unnecessary and prohibited items at home or in their vehicles to expedite security and screening procedures.
  
Tickets
Tickets for all three games this weekend, along with all of MSU's home games, can be purchased through HailState.com/tickets.
 
Follow the Diamond Dawgs
For more information on the Diamond Dawg program, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateBB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap.".
 

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