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Men's College Basketball
South Carolina Upstate vs Mississippi St.
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi State hopes to right the ship when it hosts USC Upstate on Saturday, carrying the sting of a four-game losing streak. The Bulldogs have kept it relatively tight during their current downturn, losing by an average of less than 10 points, but that does nothing for coach Rick Ray. "This was as disappointing a loss that we have had since we have been here," Ray told reporters after Wednesday's loss to Arkansas State. "We lacked defensive intensity."

Ray's focus for his team moving forward is clearly on the level of effort, first and foremost. "We (have) to find the right mixture of guys who are willing to compete," hetold reporters. "We have to make the decision of whether we want to be selfish or (whether) we are going to pass up open shots." USC Upstate is looking to snap a two-game losing streak, following an 8-2 start to the season.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, No TV

ABOUT USC UPSTATE (8-4): The Spartans, who fell on Wednesday to Memphis 83-73, are looking for their second win over an SEC team in program history after beating South Carolina last season. Ty Greene is USC Upstate's leading scorer, averaging 16.7 points, and boasts a team-high 28 steals. Fred Miller contributes 13.5 points along with a team-best four assists per game for the Spartans.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (5-4): Ray is preaching defensive focus as his team presses on, telling reporters, "Our goal is to make the other team shoot contested jump shots and (against Arkansas State) there were way too many uncontested shots." Fred Thomas is Mississippi State's key impact player, averaging 12 points and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Roquez Johnson matches Thomas' output of 12 points on average while grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game.


1. The Bulldogs are coming off a dismal 32.3 percent shooting performance against Arkansas State and rank 11th in the SEC, shooting 42.7 percent on the season.

2. USC Upstate is 1-8 in program history against SEC teams.

3. Bulldogs F Gavin Ware averages 1.8 blocks per game - good for fourth in the conference.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State 64, USC Upstate 60

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
South Carolina Upstate 8-4 L2 6-1 2-3 0-0 2-1 6-3 0-0
Mississippi St. 5-4 L4 4-1 0-2 1-1 2-2 3-2 0-0
Last Meeting
South Carolina Upstate Mississippi St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Carolina Upstate N/A
Mississippi St. N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Carolina Upstate N/A
Mississippi St. N/A
Assists Player  
South Carolina Upstate N/A
Mississippi St. N/A
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Carolina Upstate T. Greene 184 43.8 36
Mississippi St. R. Johnson 108 60.0 18
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Carolina Upstate M. Buchanan 62 27 35
Mississippi St. G. Ware 56 21 35
Assists Player  
South Carolina Upstate M. Blessing 44
Mississippi St. T. Bloodman 32
Quickchart Matchup
South Carolina Upstate Off vs  Mississippi St. Defense
66.2 Points For
60.6 Points Against
40.4 FG%
40.7 FG%
31.4 Reb
26.6 Reb
Mississippi St. Off vs  South Carolina Upstate Defense
63.9 Points For
61.8 Points Against
43.3 FG%
41.1 FG%
26.6 Reb
32.5 Reb