February 6, 2016

Mizzou-Mississippi State preview

Mizzou Basketball begins a two-game road swing as the Tigers travel to Starkville, Miss., to face first-year Head Coach Rick Ray and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Mizzou will look to snap a five-game skid on the road. The Tigers are 0-4 on the road in SEC play this season and three of the five road losses have been decided by one possession.

Mizzou is coming off a 98-79 victory against Ole Miss on Saturday in which three Tigers scored 20+ points and five total players reached double figures. Alex Oriakhi led Mizzou with a career high 22 points and 18 rebounds, recording his eighth double-double of the year. Phil Pressey scored 22 points and Keion Bell added 21 in the victory over the No. 23 Rebels.

Pressey also dished four assists to become the school record holder for career assists at Mizzou. His next assist will give him 500 in his career. Pressey is in “no man’s land” with regards to career assists and conference rank, but he would be just 46 career assists shy of the Top 10 in Big 12 history and just 125 assists shy of the Top 10 in SEC history.

With the loss at Florida, MSU was swept by a team in the regular season for the first time since Alabama in 2011. At Florida, MSU played its seventh different lineup of the season.

Mississippi State has now lost six-straight games against ranked foes (0-4 this year). The Bulldogs have now lost eight-straight games overall, the most since losing nine in a row in 1987. The Bulldogs are looking to avoid five-straight home losses for the first time since losing six in a row in 1986.  MSU hasn’t lost five-consecutive SEC games at home since losing seven straight from 2-11-81 to 1-20-82. Against Florida, freshman Craig Sword totaled career-highs in rebounds (8) and assists (5). MSU is 0-12 on the year when trailing at the half and 0-11 when foes shoot 45% or better.

During their eight-game losing streak, the Bulldogs have lost by an average of 19 points.