December 29, 2010 10:01:00 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Mississippi State women''s basketball team will open play in the Christmas City Classic at 4 p.m. today against the University of Buffalo at Stabler Arena on the campus of Lehigh University.
MSU (7-3) is coming off a 61-49 victory Dec. 20 against Mississippi Valley State, and has won six of its last eight games.
Senior guard/forward Mary Kathryn Govero has found her shooting touch the past two games. Against Xavier, she led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points. The Clinton native was 5 of 16 from the field, including four from 3-point range.
Govero followed with a 15-point performance against MVSU, which included three 3-pointers.
Govero is averaging 12.2 points and 4.1 rebounds a game this season.
Junior Ashley Brown has been MSU''s top rebounder all season (10.4 a game). Lately, Brown has been scoring, too, and is averaging 8.8 points a game.
Brown added nine rebounds and was just one rebound short of her third consecutive double-double. Brown has three double-double''s this season.
Brown added nine rebounds in the last outing against MVSU.
Junior Catina Bett notched her first career double-double against MVSU, scoring a team-high 16 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.
Through its first 10 nine games, MSU continues to lead all Southeastern Conference teams in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score just 52 points a game.
That mark ranks 19th nationally. The Lady Bulldogs are second in the league in field goal percentage defense, as opponents are shooting just 33.3 percent from the field.
That ranks 15th nationally. Offensively, MSU is scoring 59.4 points a game and is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Buffalo (5-5) is coming off a 58-42 win against Niagra on Dec. 21. UB also has wins against Canisius, William and Mary, Bucknell, and Howard.
Buffalo''s five losses came to Cleveland State, Temple, Michigan, Duquesne, and St. Bonaventure.
Senior forward Kourtney Brown leads the team in scoring (20.4 ppg.).
Junior guard Brittany Hedderson is also scoring in double figures (12.7 ppg.). The Bulls are coached by Linda Hill-MacDonald who is in her sixth season.
The meeting is the first between the teams. MSU is 5-0 all-time against Mid-American Conference teams.
MSU will play Lehigh or Rider on Thursday to conclude non-conference play.