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In the four SEC games this year, Craig Sword is averaging an SEC freshman best 13.3 points.
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Courtesy: Bill Simmonds

Bulldogs Back on The Road For Key SEC Matchup At Arkansas

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January 22, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State and Arkansas clash on Wednesday in a pivotal SEC matchup at Bud Walton Arena.

CSS will televise this 8 p.m. tip-off in Fayetteville, with Matt Stewart handling play-by-play duties and Kyle Macy serving as the color commentator.

Both squads find themselves at .500 in conference play and in need of a win Wednesday. The Bulldogs (7-9, 2-2) dropped a 72-57 decision at Tennessee on Saturday, while Arkansas (11-6, 2-2) fell 76-64 to Ole Miss in a road tilt.

For the first time since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992, the Razorbacks will not make a return trip to Starkville this season. Even so, MSU has found recent success as the road team in the
.0series, and win on Wednesday would be their third in the last five visits to Bud Walton Arena.

Last year, each team secured a double-digit home victory in this matchup. The squads opened the 2012 league slate in Fayetteville with Arkansas winning 98-88. Mississippi State returned the favor on Senior Day with a 79-59 victory over the Hogs.

Following a 15-point performance in his hometown of Knoxville, junior guard Jalen Steele leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 11.1 points per outing. Freshman Gavin Ware continues to pace the Maroon and White on the boards with 7.1 rebounds a game.

Arkansas is led by B.J. Young in scoring and assists with 17.2 points and 4.2 assists, respectively. Marshawn Powell leads the Razorbacks in rebounding (5.6), field goal percentage (53.7%), and three-point field goal percentage (44.4%).

"We know that Arkansas plays a solid, physical style of basketball," MSU coach Rick Ray said. "We are really going to have to do a good job of handing their press. That's a trademark of their program, and it's a big part of their success."

After closing out a two-game road trip on Wednesday, the Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum for a three-game stretch. MSU will host No. 8 Florida on Saturday in a 7 p.m. showdown that can be seen on ESPN2.

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