Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs continue to move up the national polls with a pair of wins last week over Tennessee (62-58) and Alabama (56-52). The win over the Crimson Tide was the third in the last four games and pushed MSU's overall record to 15-3 and to 2-1 in-conference.
Andy Kennedy's Rebels have not experienced the same amount of success this season but are still five games over .500 at 11-6. Five of those losses however, have come in the last seven games, including a tough 69-68 double- overtime loss to Auburn this past weekend.
Mississippi State owns a 138-105 advantage in this longstanding series. The Bulldogs have won each of the last five meetings, but Ole Miss holds a 77-43 advantage in games played in Oxford.
The Bulldogs don't put up gaudy numbers offensively, averaging a modest 73.8 ppg, but they are efficient, connecting on nearly 47 percent from the floor. The team possesses a potent inside/out game headlined by forward Arnett Moultrie and guard Dee Bost. Moultrie is one of the SEC's premier low post players, shooting .581 from the floor and averaging a double-double with team- highs of 16.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Bost isn't shooting all that well (.383), but is still putting up 16.1 ppg, while leading the team in assists (4.3 apg) and steals (2.3 spg). Scoring depth comes in the form of Rodney Hood and Renardo Sidney, who net 11.6 and 10.1 ppg, respectively. It was a tight contest against Alabama this past weekend, but Bost came up big when it counted the most. The team as a whole missed its first 14 three-point attempts in the game, but Bost hit three treys down the stretch to lead his team to victory. Bost finished with 17 points in the game. Moultrie was his usual dominant self, accounting for almost half of the team's points with 25, while grabbing 13 boards.
The Rebels have had the majority of their success at the defensive end of the floor, limiting the opposition to 63.9 ppg and just under 40 percent shooting (.394). Its a good thing too, because the offense has been sporadic at best. Ole Miss comes into this contest averaging just 66.0 ppg, doing so on a pedestrian 41.9 percent shooting. The team has three players averaging double figures, but lacks a true prolific scorer. Jarvis Summers leads the team with 10.8 ppg. Terrance Henry and Murphy Holloway are right behind with 10.7 and 10.6 ppg, respectively. The 6-7 Holloway is converting 56.4 percent of his shots and leads the Rebels with 10.0 rpg. The Rebels was able to come back and force overtime, but dropped a double-overtime thriller to Auburn last time out. Summers led four Rebels in double figures in the loss, with 22 points. Nick Williams came off the bench to tally 13 points. Holloway (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Reginald Buckner (11 points, 10 rebounds) both recorded double- doubles in the loss.