STARKVILLE, Miss., - New Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray sent his squad through a rigorous practice followed by a 20-minute scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon complete with officials to simulate a game-like half.
The White team edged their Maroon counterparts 38-37 during the scrimmage behind 11 points from junior guard Jalen Steele.
"It's hard when you are used to playing against yourself all the time because the other team knows what you are doing," Ray said. "For us, we're trying to cause and create turnovers but offensively we are trying not to turn the ball over. We don't know for sure if we have a bad offense as far as turning the ball over or is our defense good because we're causing turnovers. You won't know really until you play against another team."
The White team shot 48.3-percent from the floor, were 5-of-10 from behind the arc and hit all five free throws.
Steele shot 4-of-9 during the scrimmage including 3-of-7 from downtown.
Colin Borchert added seven points and eight rebounds for the White while Craig Sword chipped in eight points.
The Maroons shot 44.4-percent from the field and were 4-of-12 from the 3-points line.
Fred Thomas led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Thomas, a true freshman wing, was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc and also collected three steals.
"Fred can shoot the basketball," Ray said. "He has to learn the difference between a good shot and a bad shot but having a guy like that just spreads the defense."
The White team won the rebounding war 19-14 but both teams combined for 16 turnovers.
Sophomore forward Roquez Johnson sat out a majority of the scrimmage after injuring his left knee.
The Bulldogs will hold their first exhibition game Sunday afternoon hosting William Carey at 4 p.m. and play their season opener on the road Nov. 9 against Troy.
"Right now the exhibition game will be really good for us," Ray said. "We'll get a chance to see how those guys feel against somebody else in game scenarios. But right now I'm pleased with the way we're progressing. We've just got to continue to toughen up and do some hard, physical, tough things."
White: Jalen Steele 11, Craig Sword 8, Colin Borchert 7, Wendell Lewis 6, Tyson Cunningham 3, Baxter Price 2, Gavin Ware 1
Maroon: Fred Thomas 16, Trivante Bloodman 7, Gavin Ware 7, Tyson Cunningham 5, Roquez Johnson 2
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