Mississippi State (8-2) vs. South Florida (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada.
Television: None. Home Record: MSU 7-1, USF 6-2. Away Record: MSU 0-1, USF
2-0. Neutral Record: MSU 1-0, USF 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, USF 0-0.
Series Record: Mississippi State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: A couple of 8-2 teams get together in the desert today, as the
Mississippi State Bulldogs clash with the South Florida Bulls as part of the
Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena.
In the case of the Bulls, they are 2-0 away from home this season, taking down
both Bowling Green and George Mason previously. Most recently, the team
matched up with Florida A&M at home a few nights ago and barely slipped by in
a 73-70 final. The victory was the fourth straight for the team.
As for the Bulldogs, they already have a pair of three-game win streaks to
their credit in 2013-14, with one of those going on currently thanks to wins
over SE Louisiana, the same Florida A&M squad and, three nights ago, a 66-53
triumph over Florida Gulf Coast.
The Bulldogs have a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series between the teams,
posting an 86-81 win in the most recent meeting way back in 1974.
MSU was limited to just 66 points by Florida Gulf Coast at Humphrey Coliseum a
few nights ago, but still the hosts were able to pick up the double-digit win
nonetheless. Craig Sword tallied 17 points, one of five players in double
figures for the Bulldogs, as he converted 6-of-8 shots from the floor, but a
mere 5-of-11 at the free-throw line. I.J. Ready accounted for 12 points, while
the trio of Gavin Ware, Fred Thomas and Roquez Johnson all dropped in 10
points in the victory.
The Bulldogs have shaken up the starting lineup quite a bit this season, with
just two players making the cut for all 10 outings, they being Sword and Ware.
With that, it only makes sense that they are the only players scoring in
double figures at the moment with averages of 15.5 and 10.7 ppg, respectively.
Ware is also first on the glass with 8.1 rpg, although the drawback to having
him on the floor is that he is shooting just 56.8 percent at the charity
stripe and has somehow come up with a mere two assists in more than 250
minutes of action.
The Rattlers of A&M certainly made things interesting for South Florida as
their meeting featured six ties and 10 lead changes before the Bulls slipped
by with the three-point victory at the Sun Dome. Corey Allen accounted for 22
points and six rebounds, followed by Victor Rudd with 19 points and 10 boards,
while Anthony Collins, who didn't even bother to attempt a single field goal
in 33 minutes, contributed eight assists.
Rudd, despite shooting a dismal 25.8 percent behind the 3-point line at this
stage of the campaign, continues to not only lead the program in scoring with
15.7 ppg, he is also first on the glass with close to seven rebounds per game.
Allen is adding 13.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 3.0 apg, not to mention posting a team-
best 18 steals as the unit recorded 7.5 thefts per outing.
South Florida has been abysmal when it comes to attacking opponents on the
perimeter, shooting just 26.9 percent from 3-point range, a stat that could
certainly haunt the Bulls in Vegas today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Mississippi State 69, South Florida 65
12/22 11:00:13 ET
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