Bulldogs Back On The Road At Tennessee Looking To Regroup

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Fred Thomas scored a team-high 10 points Wednesday against Alabama.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Following its first SEC loss of the year to Alabama, Mississippi State looks to bounce back on Saturday in a road clash with the Tennessee Volunteers.

Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CT at Thompson-Boling Arena, with Clay Matvick and Joe Dean handling the broadcasting duties for the SEC Network.

The Bulldogs (7-8, 2-1) are in search of their third-straight road win in league play dating back to last season. MSU also hopes to win back-to-back games in Knoxville for the first time since 1978-79.

The last trip to Knoxville in 2011 certainly was memorable, as well as historical.

Legendary play-by-play man Jack Cristil ended his 58-year run as "Voice of the Bulldogs" on a high note, as a Wendell Lewis dunk with 3.4 seconds left on a pass from Dee Bost gave MSU a 70-69 victory, allowing Cristil to deliver one final call of his trademark phrase, "Wrap it in Maroon and White!"

Last season's game at The Hump gave fans an equally thrilling finish. In a tight contest that came down to the final possession, Dee Bost's steal and dunk in the waning moments gave MSU an emphatic 62-58 win.

Both teams enter the weekend's activity hoping to get back into the win column. The Bulldogs fell to Alabama 75-43, while the Volunteers (8-7, 0-3) remain winless in conference play after dropping a 75-65 decision at Kentucky.

Jordan McRae paces Tennessee in scoring at 13.9 points a game, while Jarnell Stokes leads the Vols on the boards with 7.5 rebounds per outing.

Mississippi State is led in scoring by Roquez Johnson at 11.4 points and Jalen Steele at 10.6. Saturday will mark Steele's first game in his hometown of Knoxville since joining MSU. Two years ago, he was unable to play due to injury.

Bulldog coach Rick Ray and UT coach Cuonzo Martin are quite familiar with each other, as both served as assistants on Matt Painter's staff at Purdue in 2007 and 2008.

MSU continues its two-game road trip Wednesday at Arkansas. CSS will broadcast the 8 p.m. tilt at Bud Walton Arena.



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