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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Texas Southern at Michigan St
When: 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan

No. 22 Michigan State expects to be without versatile senior Branden Dawson as it goes for a fourth straight victory Saturday against road-weary Texas Southern. Dawson, who averages 10.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds, injured his left wrist in a fall during Wednesday’s 66-46 victory over Eastern Michigan and is doubtful. Michigan State leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (44.4) and must rely on others to step up inside to make up for Dawson’s absence.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo told reporters of Dawson, “I saw the tape and it wasn’t pretty. But he’s tougher than nails so maybe he can bounce back.” Senior Travis Trice, junior Denzel Valentine and junior Bryn Forbes lead Michigan State’s long-range attack, combining to make 86-of-182 from beyond the arc, and the Spartans are among the national leaders at 18.4 assists per game. Texas Southern plays its seventh team that is either ranked or in a major conference.

TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT TEXAS SOUTHERN (1-8): The Tigers have lost to Baylor, Florida and eighth-ranked Gonzaga since beating Lamar, their only game at home among their first 16 games. Chris Thomas averages 15 points to lead Texas Southern, which won the SWAC tournament last season and lost to Cal Poly in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska transfer Deverell Biggs contributes 11.4 points and 1.9 steals per contest while Madarious Gibbs averages 9.8 points and a team-high 4.2 assists.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (8-3): Trice leads the team in scoring (14.2) and assists (5.7) while Valentine is close behind at 14.1 points per contest and shoots 50 percent from behind the arc. Forbes is off to a solid start, averaging 10.8 points and shooting 54.1 percent – 50.9 from 3-point range. Forward Matt Costello (7.4 points, 6.2 rebounds) has raised his game during the three-game win streak, making 12-of-17 shots and averaging 12 points after scoring eight combined in losses to Kansas and Notre Dame.

TIP-INS

1. Michigan State allows 36.4 percent shooting and 59.6 points per contest.

2. Texas Southern’s 6-9 F Jason Carter scored four points on 2-of-15 shooting against Gonzaga in his debut after he became eligible following a transfer.

3. Before suffering the injury Wednesday, Dawson became the 46th Michigan State player to reach 1,000 career points.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 80, Texas Southern 56
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Texas Southern 1-8 L3 1-0 0-8 0-0 1-2 0-6 0-0
Michigan St 8-3 W3 5-0 1-1 2-2 1-1 7-2 0-0
Last Meeting
Texas Southern Michigan St
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/18/12 TXSO 41 MSU 69 41 35 21.1 69 42 46.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Texas Southern R. Penn 10 18.8 2
Michigan St G. Harris 19 70.0 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Texas Southern F. Sturdivant 12 6 6
Michigan St D. Nix 11 0 11
Assists Player  
Texas Southern R. Penn 4
Michigan St D. Valentine 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Texas Southern C. Thomas 135 40.8 26
Michigan St T. Trice 156 42.2 20
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Texas Southern C. Thomas 45 16 29
Michigan St B. Dawson 85 28 57
Assists Player  
Texas Southern M. Gibbs 25
Michigan St T. Trice 63
Quickchart Matchup
Texas Southern Off vs  Michigan St Defense
59.2 Points For
59.6 Points Against
39.3 FG%
36.4 FG%
26.0 Reb
27.5 Reb
Michigan St Off vs  Texas Southern Defense
75.4 Points For
76.7 Points Against
49.4 FG%
50.7 FG%
27.5 Reb
33.1 Reb