The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Fanning-Otis picks up win No. 600


By Elliott Rees

Contributing Writer


The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs defeated the South Alabama Lady Jaguars 63-47 Wednesday night at Humphrey Coliseum to give head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis her 600th career win. 

Fanning-Otis is now part of an elite group becoming only the 14th NCAA Division I coach to achieve this mark. Not only did she win her 600th, but she also added to her already all-time leading wins total at Mississippi State that now stands at 273 wins in 17 seasons as head coach for the Lady Bulldogs. 

However, Fanning-Otis said milestones are not what she is most grateful for. 

“Every milestone I think in everyone’s career is always special, but what are really special are the young ladies, the coaching staff, the fans and the people that have been with you through those times,” she said. 

Win number 600 is an outstanding accomplishment, but coach Fanning-Otis said she realizes the path does not stop here in order to get where the Bulldogs need and want to be. 

“It’s great, but I’m looking forward to the next win, and the next win,” she said. 

Senior point guard Diamber Johnson said she is also aware that each win is important and just as big as another. 

“It’s special, but looking at the bigger picture, it’s a win we need to get to be in good stance at this point,” Johnson said. 

State improved its record to 6-1 overall and to 5-0 at home this season with the win over the Lady Jaguars. The Lady Bulldogs now lead the overall series 9-6 against the Lady Jaguars and have beaten them three straight. 

After getting off to a fast start scoring within the first 10 seconds of the game, the Lady Bulldogs went scoreless for just over five minutes in the first half and trailed 7-2. With 14:50 left in the first half, senior forward Ashley Brown began a 19-0 run  for State with her only bucket of the game. Feeding the ball inside and offensive rebounds were a big part in the run. 

“We were rebounding. We were living in the paint, which is something we’ve been discussing as a team as something we need to do,” Johnson said. 

South Alabama, in the meantime, went nearly 10 minutes without a basket during the stretch, finally scoring with 5:46 left in the first half with a layup by junior guard Mary Nixon to make the score 21-9. 

South Alabama shot 14.3-percent in the first half as State took a 29-17 lead into the half. It was the lowest percentage allowed by State this season. 

“We just tried to play hard and together,” said Fanning-Otis. 

The second half was a more competitive game. South Alabama pulled within six points at the 14:19 mark when the score was 36-30 after a 3-pointer by guard Jennifer Johnson. However, that was as close as the Lady Jaguars would get. State went on to outscore South Alabama 34-30 in the second half. 

Although senior guard Diamber Johnson went on to score a team-leading 22 points, they did not come easy as she shot a dismal 6-21 from the field. She felt taking the ball to the hole would remedy the problem. 

“My shots weren’t falling, and I don’t like to force shots. I knew I had to get the ball to the bucket,” she said. 

Senior center Catina Bett also contributed with 11 points which was her highest point total of the season and crashed the boards for eight rebounds. However, she said she realizes there is still room for improvement. 

“I feel like I’m getting my ‘mojo’ back, but it’s just going to take time and effort to get where I need to be as a player,” Bett said.

Freshman center Martha Alwal also cashed in with seven points and two blocks. She only needs six more blocks to break the freshman single-season blocks record of 32 set by LaToya Thomas during the 1999-2000 season. 

Next up for MSU is Tulane at the Hump on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs are seeking revenge after losing to the Green Wave last year. 

“It’s sort of like the Xavier game in that it’s going to be payback,” Bett said.

Fanning-Otis is positive it is going to take an inspired effort on behalf of the Lady Bulldogs to beat the Lady Green Wave. “It is a very aggressive, successful basketball team coming back from an NCAA tournament appearance,” she said. 

The Lady Bulldogs have a December stretch which includes the Reno-Tahoe Classic in Reno, Nev. leading up to the start of Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 5 against Louisiana State University at home. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Fanning-Otis picks up win No. 600