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By DANNY P. SMITH
Mary Kathryn Govero knows she has the responsibility as a senior to provide leadership and scoring for the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs.
She doesn't mind at all when teammates like Diamber Johnson and Ashley Brown join in on the fun.
Johnson and Brown have contributed significantly at times to help Govero and the Lady Bulldogs get off to a 3-1 start.
Mississippi State looks to pick up its third home victory of the season tonight, but it's a tough one as Lousiana Tech comes into Humphrey Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tip.
Govero averages 18.8 points per game to easily pace the Lady Bulldogs scoring attack and also leads the Southeastern Conference, but Johnson averages 12 points per outing and Brown averages a double-double of 10 points and 11.8 per game.
It's the game of Johnson that has particularly caught Govero's eye. Johnson has hit four of five shots from three-point range this season.
"She is definitely becoming more confident in her offensive game," Govero said of Johnson. "You can hear her in practice saying, 'that's my 60 percent shot, that's my green light shot, I got to hit that shot,' so she is becoming more confident looking for her shot off screens. When she is looking for her shot and knocking them down like she was (against Arkansas-Pine Bluff), she is a key for the teams success."
MSU coach Sharon Fanning-Otis likes what her squad has done so far this season in winning three of its first four games, but knows the upcoming stretch is a challenge.
Louisiana Tech (2-3), which has lost its last three games, is led in scoring and rebounding by senior forward Andrienne Johnson with 23.8 points per game and 8.6 boards per outing.
"I am proud of this team because they are working and becoming much more consistent," Fanning-Otis said. "This week we have to prepare for several good teams coming in and our rebounding will have to be more consistent because these teams will be good off the boards."
After the Lady Bulldogs host the Lady Techsters tonight, they also have home games against North Texas on Saturday (1 p.m.) and Utah on Dec. 11 (4 p.m.).