It's a Battle of Bulldogs Saturday In Athens

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Mississippi State travels to Georgia Saturday for a 12:47 p.m. CT tip.
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STARKVILLE, Miss. - Riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak, Mississippi State travels to Georgia Saturday looking to remain perfect in SEC play.

Tip at Stegeman Coliseum is set for 12:47 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on the SEC Network with Dave LaMont and Kara Lawson handling the broadcast.

The Bulldogs (6-7, 1-0) enter the contest after opening SEC action with a 56-54 win against South Carolina after rallying from an 8-point deficit.

Georgia is 6-8, 0-1 after losing 77-44 at No. 11 Florida.

"The thing that I'm so happy about for our guys is they've been playing really hard in practice and competing and trying to do the things we've been telling them is the right way to about playing basketball," MSU coach Rick Ray said of the South Carolina win. "For them to start seeing some success on the court, because of how hard we go in practice, it's good for our team because they now understand that if they play this hard and do things the right way, you've got a chance to win ball games."

Georgia has won the last three games against MSU to even the series at 52-apiece. UGA hasn't won four in a row since 1989-91.

They are led in scoring and rebounding by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at 17.0 and 6.9, respectively. Against the Gators, he had 11 points.

MSU is paced by Roquez Johnson at 12.5 points and Fred Thomas at 10.2. Against the Gamecocks, Johnson had 14 points while Craig Sword totaled a career-high 18 points.

"Down the stretch, he was huge for us because he continually got the ball into the paint, and we needed that," Ray said in reference to Sword. "When a team like South Carolina presses you, the only way you can beat the pressure or fight the pressure is to get the ball in the paint."

A win Saturday would give MSU a 2-0 start in conference play for the first time in three years.

The Bulldogs are back in action Wednesday at Humphrey Coliseum against long-time rival Alabama. The 8 p.m. tilt will be televised by CSS.


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