November 22, 2008

Bulldogs look to start season at 4-0

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will attempt to make a 4-0 start for the fourth time under Rick Stansbury today with a showdown with Farleigh Dickinson at 6 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum as part of the Legends Classic.

The Bulldogs are already guaranteed to advance to the championship rounds at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. next week.

Today will be the first meeting between MSU and the Knights of Teaneck, N.J. The Bulldogs are 2-0 all-time against members of the Northeast Conference taking down Orlando in the 2004 NCAA Tournament and Long Island during the 1992-93 season.

State has yet to trail in its first three contests and have won those games by an average of 30.7 points. The Bulldogs are scoring 85.7 points per game and are shooting 51.4-percent from the floor and 44.1-percent from behind the arc.

Barry Stewart leads the Bulldogs with 15.3 points per game along with fellow guards Ravern Johnson (11.0 ppg) and Dee Bost (10.0 ppg).

Bost has dished out 21 assists on the young season which ranks him tops in the Southeastern Conference and fifth nationally. He is tied for second among freshman with UNC-Ashville's J.P. Primm.

Forward Kodi Augustus is averaging 8.7 points and six rebound per game.

Reigning National Defensive Player of the Year Jarvis Varnado is now only two blocks shy of tying Erick Dampier's school record for career blocks at 249. He is averaging 7.7 blocks per game this season and has swatted away 23 shots this season which is tops in the country.

Varnado is also putting up nine points and 12 rebounds per game this season.

Farleigh Dickenson enters today at 0-2 and are coming off a cross country trek after a 55-33 loss at Washington State on Tuesday.

The Knights are scoring on average of 48 points per game and surrender 70.5 to their opponents. Farleigh Dickinson shoots 32-percent from the floor and 33.3-percent from 3-point land.

The Knights starters are led in scoring by sophomore guard Sean Baptiste with 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Freshman Jordan Stasyszyn (3.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg) and junior Cameron Tyler (2.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg) join Baptiste in the backcourt.

Freshman forward John Galvin (6-9, 250) is averaging eight points and 3.5 rebounds per game while sophomore Alvin Mofunanya (6-8, 245) is putting up 7.5 points and four rebounds a contest.

The leading scorer for Farleigh Dickinson thus far is sophomore guard Eric Moore with 11 points off the bench. Junior guard Terence Grier (3.5 ppg) is another top reserve for the Knights.

Farleigh Dickinson is coached by 25 year veteran Tom Green.

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