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MSU Travels To Tupelo Friday To Face Southeastern Louisiana

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Sophomore guard Craig Sword has scored 24 points in each of the last two games for Mississippi State.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Now that final examinations are complete, the tests on the hardwood can finally resume.

On Friday, Mississippi State travels to its home away from home in Tupelo for a matchup with Southeastern Louisiana.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the newly-renovated BancorpSouth Arena. The Bulldogs are 3-0 all-time in games played at the venue in Tupelo. Friday’s clash marks ten years to the day since MSU’s last visit to BancorpSouth Arena, a 77-59 win against New Orleans in 2003.

Gates to the arena open at 5:30 p.m. and the Egg Bowl trophy will be available for pictures.

“We are excited about bringing Mississippi State basketball to Tupelo,” said head coach Rick Ray. “Tupelo has always been a supportive and very strong fan base for Mississippi State athletics, and we are glad that we are able to return the favor by playing a game for those fans in Tupelo.”

Ray’s squad enters the game with a 5-2 record after falling just short in a comeback attempt against TCU. The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 18 in the second half before trimming the lead down to three points with a little more than two minutes remaining. The Horned Frogs made clutch free throws down the stretch, however, and claimed a 71-61 victory.

Craig Sword netted 24 points for the second-consecutive game for MSU. The sophomore from Montgomery, Ala. leads the team with a 14.7 scoring clip. Gavin Ware (11.3 points) and Roquez Johnson (11.0) also average double-figure points.

Freshman point guard I.J. Ready returned from injury against TCU and drained three shots from beyond the arc.

Southeastern (3-5) dropped a 74-73 decision to Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. The Lions have already faced three foes from the SEC this season, losing matchups against Missouri, LSU, and Arkansas. JaMichael Hawkins leads Coach Jim Yarbrough’s squad with 11.4 points an outing.

Mississippi State currently holds a 17-1 all-time series lead against Southeastern. MSU won an 82-67 contest at Humphrey Coliseum in 2009 in the last meeting between the schools.

Following Friday’s tilt, the Bulldogs return to The Hump to face Florida A&M on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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