STARKVILLE, Miss. – New foes meet for the first time on the hardwood as Mississippi State hosts Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday.
CSS will televise the 8 p.m. tilt at Humphrey Coliseum, with Richard Cross and MSU coaching great Richard Williams providing courtside analysis.
Tickets are $5 and MSU will be celebrating the holidays with a visit from Santa Clause.
The Bulldogs enter the matchup with a 7-2 record after claiming a 78-65 win against Florida A&M on Tuesday. Craig Sword continued to lead the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 points, including 15 in the first half. The Montgomery, Ala. native paces the squad with 15.3 points per outing.
Dre Applewhite recorded his first-career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Rattlers.
The Eagles boast a 5-5 record after dropping a 68-66 decision at South Florida in double-overtime on Tuesday. Bernard Thompson played all 50 minutes and netted 32 points for Coach Joe Dooley’s squad.
Florida Gulf Coast returns four starters from last season’s Cinderella story that quickly became known around the nation as Dunk City. FGCU made a memorable run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season, becoming the first 15-seed to ever accomplish the feat.
MSU currently holds an 11-3 mark all-time against foes from the Atlantic Sun. The Bulldogs downed A-Sun foe Kennesaw State earlier this season.
Following Thursday’s contest, the Bulldogs will hit the road for the Las Vegas Classic on Dec. 22-23. Mississippi State will play South Florida at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday and will play either Santa Clara or UNLV on Monday.