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Tyson Cunningham and the rest of the Mississippi State Bulldogs play Missouri Wednesday at 7p.m.
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Courtesy: Bill Simmonds

Bulldogs Welcome SEC Newcomer Missouri To The Hump

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February 12, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. - As the conference schedule enters its second half, a new SEC foe travels to Humphrey Coliseum on Wednesday as Mississippi State hosts Missouri at 7 p.m.

The SEC Network will televise the clash, with Dave Neal and Kyle Macy serving as courtside commentators.

MSU enters the contest hoping to snap an eight-game losing skid. The Bulldogs (7-15, 2-8) fell 83-58 at then No. 2 Florida on Saturday. Freshman Gavin Ware turned in another solid performance, netting 16 points and grabbing six rebounds.

The Tigers (17-6, 6-4) avenged a previous loss to Ole Miss by defeating the 23rd-ranked Rebels 98-79 in Columbia on Saturday. Alex Oriakhi recorded 22 points and 18 rebounds in the win.

Mississippi State and Missouri have only met three times on the hardwood, with MU winning twice. The Maroon and White won the most recent meeting in the series, an 87-75 victory in Starkville during the 2008 campaign.

"I think they're a really talented ball club," MSU coach Rick Ray said. "They pose a lot of problems for you because they've got guys who are versatile that can do a lot of different things."

Fred Thomas leads the Bulldogs with 10.5 points a game, and his 1.7 steals an outing rank second on the team. Craig Sword averages 9.8 points, the second-best mark on the squad. Sword totaled a career high in rebounds (8) and assists (5) Saturday at Florida.

Laurence Bowers leads the Tiger scoring attack with 14.9 points a game. Keion Bell leads the league in free throw shooting at 88.3 percent.

Wednesday's game could easily come down to which team takes better care of the basketball. MU point guard Phil Pressey leads the conference in assists with 6.9 per game, while the Bulldogs place fifth in the league in steals.

Following this matchup, MSU will again face a group of Tigers as it travels to Baton Rouge for a rematch with LSU on Saturday. ESPNU will broadcast the 4 p.m. tilt at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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