January 10, 2009
Mississippi State begins their quest for a three-peat as Southeastern Conference Western Division Champions tonight when they begin league play on the road at Arkansas at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports South.
Tonight marks the third straight season the Bulldogs have opened up their league schedule on the road and sport an impressive 8-2 record under Rick Stansbury in the first conference game. In all, MSU has won 16 of the their last 18 SEC lidlifters.
"There is no drills, simulations or no speeches that I could possibly give to make our young guys understand what they are getting ready to go into," Stansbury said. "They have no idea. There is no better lesson or teacher than experience. We'll get a dose of experience Saturday night because if that arena is like it is right now, there is no question it is one of the more difficult places to play not only in this league but in the country."
The Razorbacks hold the series lead at 26-19. The two schools split their meetings last season with Arkansas winning 78-58 in Fayetteville while the Bulldogs won in Starkville 80-74. Bud Walton Arena has been a tough place to play for State holding only a 4-15 record there. The Bulldogs haven't won at Arkansas since the 2004-05 season.
Mississippi State has won their last two games in impressive fashion and sports a 10-5 non-conference record coming into tonight. The Bulldogs are averaging 75.7 points per game and shooting 46.5-percent from the field on the year. They hit 37.1-percent from behind the arc and are a 69.4-percent free throw shooting team. MSU also outrebounds their opponents by a 2.3 margin and surrenders 64.7 points.
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