January 30, 2010

Bulldogs get back on track against LSU

Mississippi State is looking to snap their first losing streak of the season today.

The Bulldogs have a golden opportunity to do so taking on a LSU squad that remains winless in the conference at 12:47 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU dropped their last two contests 62-57 at Alabama and 67-62 at Arkansas, which put the Bulldogs record at 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference and 15-5 overall.

LSU swept the series last season winning 81-57 in Baton Rouge and also 87-85 in double overtime in Starkville. However the Bulldogs took down LSU 67-57 in the SEC Tournament Semifinal. The Tigers lead the all-time series 103-93 but State has won five of the last seven games and hold the upper hand in Starkville 56-36.

The Bulldogs come into today's game shooting 44.1-percent from the floor and averaging 73.8 points per game. Despite their poor shooting efforts of late MSU still leads the league in 3-point percentage at 37.9-percent. They continue to lead the Southeastern Conference in most defensive categories including scoring defense (61.5), field goal percentage allowed (36.6), blocked shots (8.4) and defensive rebounds (30.6).

Junior wing Ravern Johnson leads the Bulldogs with 14 points per game. Johnson is second in the SEC behind the arc shooting 44-perent but has made just two of his last 18 attempts and has hit 55 treys this season.

Senior center Jarvis Varnado remains the only player in the league averaging a double-double with 13.6 points and 11.2 rebounds. Varnado leads the Southeastern Conference and is second in the nation with 102 blocks. He remains 39 swats shy of Wojciech Mydra's NCAA career record of 535. He led State last season in Starkville against LSU with 31 points, eight rebounds and six blocks.

Sophomore point guard Dee Bost is averaging 11.9 points and is third in the conference with 5.4 assists while senior guard Barry Stewart is putting up 11.2 points. Stewart became the school's all-time leader in minutes played with 3,867 career minutes on the floor.

Junior power forward Kodi Augustus is putting up 9.1 points and pulling down six rebounds a game.

Junior guard/ forward Phil Turner continues to lead the Bulldogs off the bench averaging 5.9 points and 4.9 boards while sophomore forward Romero Osby chips in 4.7 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Rick Stansbury continues to sit at 99 career SEC wins.

LSU enters this afternoon with a 9-11 overall record but are 0-6 inside the SEC. The Tigers have not won since Jan. 4.

Trent Johnson's squad is shooting an SEC worst 42-percent from the floor and averaging 64.2 points per game. The Tigers are also last in the league making just 28 .1-percent from downtown and are hitting 68.3-percent from the charity stripe.

Senior forward Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 245) leads LSU and is second in the conference with 17.5 points per game. Mitchell scored 41 points during his last visit to Humphrey Coliseum. He leads the SEC averaging 38 minutes a contest and is pulling down 9.6 rebounds. Sophomore forward Storm Warren(6-7, 230) is scoring 13.3 points and grabbing 8.3 rebounds while freshman forward Dennis Harris (6-11, 190) is adding 4.7 points and 3.1 boards.

Junior guard Bo Spencer (6-2, 186) is putting up 14.8 points along with sophomore guard Chris Bass (6-1, 175) contributing 2.7 points per outing.

Freshman uard Aaron Dotson paces the Tigers off the bench with 3.7 points along with freshman forward Eddie Ludwig chipping in 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in his reserve role.

Today's game will be televised on the SEC Network with Dave Baker and Joe Dean on the call.

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