Learning process continues for MSU
MSU freshman Kendra Grant looks for an open lane against Southern Miss last Friday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The learning process continues for Mississippi State's newcomers on the basketball court tonight.
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With the start of Southeastern Conference play looming, the young Lady Bulldogs know they have don't have very much time to gain knowledge.
One of those players is freshman Kendra Grant, who has started all 10 games so far this season and has averaged 26.6 minutes per outing.
"I have gotten used to Division I basketball in certain areas as far as defense," Grant said. "I still need work, but I have matured."
MSU' has enjoyed success at home, while trying to get players experience.
The Lady Bulldogs attempt to finish the home portion of its non-conference schedule undefeated against Louisiana-Lafayette in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.
MSU women's coach Sharon Fanning-Otis has watched as her squad has won all seven games at home so far and the young players have improved during the early season.
"As they get better looks at the goal, they will get a feel for the game," Fanning-Otis said. "Once this happens, they will gain the confidence they need to be better players."Â
Grant has averaged 6.9 points per game, which is fourth-best for the Lady Bulldogs, and grabs 4.8 rebounds per outing, which is third-best on the team.
Fanning-Otis likes Grant's progress, especially defensively.
"She is starting to guard better in a half-court setting," Fanning-Otis said. "All of those things as a freshman, she is beginning to learn, and her game will continue to step up."
Former West Oktibbeha player Shamia Robinson, another MSU freshman, has played in nine games and averages 2.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Lady Bulldogs continue to be led by their seniors Diamber Johnson and Porsha Porter.
After scoring 25 points in Friday's victory against Southern Mississippi, Porter averages 20.7 points over her last three games and has raised her season average to 14.8 points per outing.Â
Johnson not only leads MSU in scoring with 18.3 points per game, but also tops the Southeastern Conference. She only needs five more points to hit the 800 mark for her career.
The Lady Bulldogs will see a familiar face on the opposing bench tonight as Louisiana-Lafayette coach Errol Rogers was a former assistant of Fanning-Otis at MSU. Rogers' Ragin' Cajuns have a 5-5 record.
Tonightâ€™s game will be broadcast on WKBB-FM 100.9 and WXWX-FM 96.3. The contest will also be broadcast via live video and audio to Maroon to the Max subscribers.