Bulldogs Look To Rebound Tuesday Against Florida Atlantic

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In his MSU debut against Troy, sophomore point guard Trivante Bloodman scored 11 points.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coming off a tough, hard-fought setback at Troy to open the season last week, Mississippi State looks to rebound Tuesday as it opens the home slate against Florida Atlantic as part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Tip is set for 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum, and HailStateTV subscribers can view the stream live on the Internet.

Tuesday also marks the home debut of first-year coach Rick Ray, who back in April became the 19th head coach in school history.

"I know our guys are just ready to get back on the court after a tough loss," Ray said. "I was proud of the way our guys fought back and played in the second half, but we need that type of competitive spirit for two halves."

The Bulldogs, who haven't started a season 0-2 since 1967-68, dropped a 56-53 decision to Troy and trailed by as many as 16 points before rallying late to even the contest at 53-apiece on two Jalen Steele free throws.

But with 1.6 seconds to play, Troy's Emil Jones hit a jumper to lift the Trojans to victory in their new arena.

Steele, a junior from Knoxville, Tenn., led all scorers with 16 points, while newcomers Trivante Bloodman and Gavin Ware added 11 and 10, respectively.

The Owls come to Starkville looking to rebound as well.

On Sunday, they fell to No. 11 North Carolina, 80-56, despite an 18-point effort from Greg Gantt.

At the half, Florida Atlantic trailed just 32-24.

The Bulldogs and Owls have met twice, with FAU winning two years ago and MSU claiming a 75-68 win last season. Both games were at Humphrey Coliseum.

After Tuesday, the Bulldogs return to action in Maui against the Tar Heels at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19.


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