Bulldogs Return Home Tuesday To Face Roadrunners
Tip is set for 7 p.m. and it will be the first meeting between the two schools.
MSU, 2-5 on the year with both victories coming at the Hump, returns home following a hard-fought 73-63 setback at Providence on Saturday in the SEC/Big East Challenge.
The Roadrunners enter the contest 3-4 and losers of three straight.
"They have really good guards that like to dribble penetrate, and we've got to do a good job of keeping them out of the paint," MSU coach Rick Ray said. "We've also got to avoid slow starts. We can't continue to dig ourselves in holes that are impossible to get out."
UTSA will be the sixth Western Athletic Conference foe MSU has played. All-time, the Bulldogs are 14-6 against the WAC.
To improve on that mark, Mississippi State will need the type of game it played in the final 10 minutes against the Friars. Trailing by 26, MSU rallied to close the gap to 5 at 68-63. The rally was thwarted, however, as Providence hit all six of its free throws in the waning minutes.
Senior forward Wendell Lewis came off the bench to score a career- and team-high 16 points. The Selma, Ala., native also hauled in 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year and the second of his career.
Johnson leads MSU in scoring with his 14.3 clip.
"We just can't have another slow start," Lewis said. "We've got to start games like we are down 20 and play with more urgency."
The Roadrunners enter the game with three players scoring in double-digits. They are led by Kannon Burrage at 17.9 points, while Michael Hale and Jeromie Hill are averaging 16.5 and 12.1 points, respectively.
After Tuesday, the Bulldogs don't play again until Dec. 15 in Chicago, when they face Loyola to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the history NCAA Tournament matchup in 1963.