December 2, 2011

Stansbury readies for West Virginia

No. 21 Mississippi State faces its biggest test of the young season Saturday night squaring off against West Virginia in the SEC/ Big East Challenge.

Both teams have one loss on their docket entering the game and something will have to give inside Humphrey Coliseum.

"This is going to be a heck of a challenge for everybody," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "West Virginia is a really good basketball team. We're making steady improvement but this is a big basketball game for early in the year and a great opportunity for us. It is two teams evenly balanced in a lot of areas."

The Bulldogs are off to a 7-1 start to the year while West Virginia is 4-1 including a win Monday 77-56 over Akron, the only team to defeat MSU this season.

The Mountaineers are shooting 48.6-percent on the season and averaging 79 points per game. They have outscored their opponents by 17.6 points on average.

"Like a lot of West Virginia teams, they're gonna guard you," said Stansbury. "Defensively, I think they are really, really good and they've got a leading rounder and scorer in Kevin Jones, a four man who is 6-9 and 260 and shoots threes and posts up, and was preseason first-team All-Big East. Then also on the inside, they have (Deniz Kilicli), who is 6-9, 260 and has a big old body that sat out 23 games last year and then got eligible. He is a load in there.

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