TCU (4-3) at Mississippi State (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 5, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Humphrey Coliseum (10,500) -- Starkville, Mississippi. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: TCU 1-1, MSU 5-0. Away Record: TCU 2-0, MSU 0-1. Neutral Record: TCU 1-2, MSU 0-0. Conference Record: TCU 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The TCU Horned Frogs will attempt to avoid a second straight loss as they challenge the Mississippi State Bulldogs in non-conference action at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Horned Frogs have just returned from a trip to Anchorage where they took part in the Great Alaska Shootout last week. The team started off well enough with back-to-back victories over host Anchorage (73-70) and Tulsa (72-65), but then came up lame versus Harvard on Saturday, 71-50.
The Bulldogs have bowed in only one contest thus far, an 87-68 setback to Utah State on the road Nov. 23. Since then the team has posted a pair of victories, the latest being a narrow 65-64 triumph in overtime versus Loyola-Chicago on Sunday.
This is the third game between the programs all-time, with each having tasted success previously. However, the most recent matchup took place back in 1990, with the Bulldogs claiming a 64-60 win at home.
TCU's offensive efforts against the Crimson were simply dreadful last week, the team shooting just 29.2 percent from the field in the first half and then seeing that lack of accuracy drop all the way down to 21.9 percent over the final 20 minutes of play. The team finished with just as many turnovers (14) as field goals as they shot 2-of-10 behind the 3-point line and were crushed on the glass, 44-27. Kyan Anderson scored a season-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, followed by Jarvis Ray and his 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting. The rest of the team combined to convert a woeful 4-of-32 from the field.
Due to the fact that the Frogs scored a season-low against Harvard over the weekend, the team now shows an average of only 67.1 ppg, almost two full points behind the competition. Ray (13.4 ppg) and Anderson (13.3 ppg) and joined by Amric Fields (12.8 ppg) in double figures, the latter missing the first three games of this season after appearing in just three games all of 2012-13.
Roquez Johnson came off the bench for a double-double, helping the Bulldogs to the one-point overtime win against the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers at Humphrey Coliseum. Johnson notched 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs, shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 8-of-12 at the free-throw line. Craig Sword tallied a game-high 24 points on 8-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the stripe. Sword converted on a three-point play with 1:41 remaining in overtime to pull the Bulldogs ahead 64-62 and give them a lead they would not relinquish. MSU shot 46.8 percent for the contest, just slightly better than a 42.6 percent mark by Loyola-Chicago. The lead changed on 20 different occasions in the tightly contested game.
The Bulldogs have four players scoring in double figures through six games, but not one of them is putting up more than the 12.7 ppg sported by Sword. Gavin Ware (11.7 ppg), Johnson (11.3 ppg) and Colin Borchert (10.5 ppg) all play significant roles in an offense that is generating a solid 72.3 ppg and outscoring the competition by 7.3 ppg, while forcing those foes into an average of 18 turnovers per contest.
Because of their defense, the Bulldogs have the ability to dictate the tempo of games and that should come in handy against the Horned Frogs.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Mississippi State 73, TCU 64
12/05 10:31:14 ET