Starkville, MS – The 15th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs conference affair at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville.
Utah State is just 16-92 all-time against ranked teams and 5-14 under current head coach Stew Morrill. However, this group of Aggies figures to play with confidence today, as they are riding a season-best four-game win streak that has enabled them to improve to 8-5 overall. They are coming off an 81-62 victory over Kent State and will begin WAC play after this affair.
As for Mississippi State, a member of the SEC, it carried an impressive 11- game win streak into Wednesday's matchup with Baylor and certainly put forth a solid effort in that affair against one of the nation's top teams. Unfortunately, the result was a 54-52 setback, just the second loss of the season for the Bulldogs through 14 outings.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Utah State and Mississippi State on the hardwood.
There are four double-digit scorers on the Utah State roster, and Preston Medlin leads the club with 14.3 ppg on 50 percent shooting from the field. Brockeith Pane, who tops the roster with 46 assists and 15 steals, places second in scoring with 11.2 ppg, while Morgan Grim (10.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Kyisean Reed (10.2 ppg) round out the foursome. The Aggies are generating 67.8 ppg this season while holding opponents to 62.8 ppg on 39.1 percent field goal efficiency. Reed scored 27 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the floor in the victory over Kent State last time out, and Medlin added 20 points. As for Grim, he tallied 14 points and 14 boards for Utah State, which shot 56.6 percent from the field and held the Golden Flashes to 34.2 percent.
Like Utah State, Mississippi State has four double-digit scorers in the fold, and big man Arnett Moultrie continues to lead the way with his 16.9 ppg and 11.5 rpg. Dee Bost is shooting just 39.4 percent from the floor, but he is still scoring 16.6 ppg to complement his impressive totals of 62 assists and 33 steals. Rodney Hood (12.2 ppg) and Renardo Sidney (10.2 ppg) round out an impressive group for the Aggies, who are generating 75.4 ppg while allowing 63.0 ppg to opponents. Taking a look at Wednesday's loss to Baylor, MSU certainly played well enough to win defensively by limiting the Bears to 34.5 percent shooting from the floor. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they were outscored 11-3 from the foul line and outrebounded by eight boards as well.