February 25, 2009

Tennessee Preview

For the past two seasons, Mississippi State and head coach Rick Stansbury have been the best in the West, the Southeastern Conference Western Division that is.

But with LSU already clinching at least a share of the West title on Tuesday, the best the Bulldogs can hope to finish is second in the division. But maybe they should consider a move to the SEC East. MSU is undefeated at 4-0 against that side of the conference but will face one of their most talented opponents tonight in Tennessee.

The Bulldogs have struggled against Tennessee of late losing the last four meetings in the series. State has not won at Knoxville's Thompson-Bolen Arena since 1999 and are 1-4 there under Stansbury. The Volunteers hold a commanding 73-38 lead in the series including last season's 76-71 tilt in Starkville.

Mississippi State enters tonight's contest at 7-5 in the SEC and 17-10 overall. The Bulldogs are coming off a heartbreaking 87-85 double overtime loss to Alabama on the road this past Saturday. They have played in three overtime games this season but have came out on the losing end in all three contests.

MSU is averaging 75.2 points per game this year and is shooting 43.5-percent from the field. The Bulldogs are knocking down 36.7-percent of their shots behind the arc as well as 70.8-percent off the free throw line. They lead the league in blocked shots averaging 8.2 per game and surrender 68.7 points a game to their opponents.

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