Mississippi State (1-3) vs. Texas (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lahaina Civic Center (2,400) -- Maui, Hawaii.
Television: ESPN U. Home Record: MSU 1-0, Texas 2-0. Away Record: MSU 0-1,
Texas 0-0. Neutral Record: MSU 0-2, Texas 0-2. Conference Record: MSU 0-0,
Texas 0-0. Series Record: Texas leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: After both teams dropped their first two games of the tournament,
the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Texas Longhorns will meet in the
seventh-place game of the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Leading up to this event, Mississippi State split a pair of games against Sun
Belt Conference foes, losing to Troy in the opener (56-53) and beating Florida
Atlantic (78-58). The Bulldogs had the unfortunate duty of facing North
Carolina in the opening round of this event, and they were blown out of the
building, 95-49. The results on Tuesday weren't much better, as they lost to
Marquette, 89-62, to fall to 1-3 on the season.
Texas won both games during its opening homestand over Fresno State (55-53)
and Coppin State (69-46) before running into hard luck in Maui. The Longhorns
were upset in the opening round by Division II Chaminade, 86-73, and then
dropped an overtime bout with USC, 59-53, to fall all the way to this seventh-
Texas has a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series with Mississippi State, with
the last meeting coming in 2002.
The Bulldogs have not started the year off the way they had planned, as they
are shooting less than 40 percent from the field and are being outscored by an
average of 14 ppg. Their latest matchup with Marquette was no different, as
they made only 38.5 percent of their field goal attempts as they got down by
as many as 25 in the first half and never recovered. Fred Thomas paced MSU
with 17 points and he drained four three-pointers, but he made just 6-of-15
field goal attempts overall. Thomas is one of only two players to average
double figures on the season (11.0 ppg), but it's come at a big price as he's
shooting a lowly 31.9 percent from the field. Roquez Johnson tallied 16
points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Gavin Ware came off the bench
to score 11 points. Johnson is the team's leading scorer with 15.0 ppg and
he's grabbed 5.7 rpg as well.
The Longhorns have struggled shooting the ball this season, as they're hitting
just 41.8 percent of their field goal attempts, including a dismal 21.5
percent of their three-pointers. Things were even worse against USC, as Texas
made just 37 percent of its total shots. Julien Lewis did all he could to lift
his team to victory with 17 points on 6-of-8 from the floor, but one of his
few misses came from beyond the arc at the end of regulation that would have
won the game. Sheldon McClellan came off the bench to tally 11 points and
seven boards, Ioannis Papapetrou scored 10 points, and Javan Fox recorded six
points, six rebounds and eight assists. On the season, McClellan is averaging
17.5 ppg and he has drained 30-of-33 from the foul line (.909). Felix (8.3
ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.8 apg) contributes across the board, and Jonathan Holmes grabs
a team-high 9.5 rpg.
Neither team wants to be the lone squad to leave Hawaii without a win. The
Longhorns are a much better team than they've shown in this tournament, and
they should be able to get right against a Mississippi State squad that is
expected to struggle all season long.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 78, Mississippi State 63
11/21 10:36:52 ET
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