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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Mississippi St. at Louisiana State
When: 6:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 6, 2016
Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Freshman forward Ben Simmons seeks his 17th double-double of the season when LSU hosts Mississippi State on Saturday in SEC play. Simmons intends on leaving for the NBA after the season but is striving to lead the Tigers to the NCAA tournament for the second straight campaign.

Simmons was the recipient of criticism when he went scoreless over the final 10 minutes of last Saturday's loss to Oklahoma and was highly assertive during Tuesday's 80-68 win over Auburn. Simmons was 9-of-15 shooting while contributing 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in the victory. "I definitely just wanted to be more aggressive and attack the rim more," Simmons told reporters. "I know that usually, when I take shots, they fall. Just looking at stats from previous games, when I shoot more than seven times, we win games." The Bulldogs are just 1-6 on the road but the win came in their last away game - a 76-62 decision over Missouri last Saturday.

TV:
6 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-12, 2-7 SEC): Senior center Gavin Ware leads the Bulldogs in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (7.3) and he scored a career-best 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting in Tuesday's 82-80 overtime loss to Alabama. "I just kept playing the way I always do," Ware told reporters after moving into 22nd place in school history with 1,227 career points. "I made sure I slowed down and was in the right position to seal in the post." Freshman guard Malik Newman averages 13.2 points while senior Craig Sword scores 12.5 per game despite shooting just 17.5 percent from 3-point range.

ABOUT LSU (14-8, 7-2): Simmons is shooting 56.4 percent from the field while averaging 19.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and five assists and is the prime reason why the Tigers are tied with Texas A&M for first place at the halfway point of the conference season. Sophomore forward Craig Victor II, a transfer from Arizona, is making an impact with averages of 13 points and 6.4 rebounds since becoming eligible after the first semester. Senior guard Keith Hornsby (12.7) and junior guard Tim Quarterman (11.7) also average in double digits.

TIP-INS

1. Mississippi State won last season's lone meeting to halt LSU's four-game series winning streak.

2. Quarterman leads the Tigers with 31 3-pointers and he is 8-of-15 from behind the arc over the past four games.

3. Newman had just three points against Alabama after averaging 19.7 points and making 16-of-26 3-pointers over the previous three contests.

PREDICTION: LSU 75, Mississippi State 70
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Mississippi St. 9-12 L1 6-4 1-6 2-2 5-3 4-9 2-7
Louisiana State 14-8 W1 11-2 3-4 0-2 2-4 12-4 7-2
Last Meeting
Mississippi St. Louisiana State
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/31/15 LSU 67 MSST 73 73 38 44.2 67 38 37.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Mississippi St. F. Thomas 18 62.5 7
Louisiana State J. Mickey 25 61.1 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Mississippi St. R. Johnson 10 0 10
Louisiana State J. Mickey 20 6 14
Assists Player  
Mississippi St. C. Sword 5
Louisiana State K. Hornsby 3
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Mississippi St. G. Ware 326 63.1 66
Louisiana State B. Simmons 430 56.4 129
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Mississippi St. G. Ware 145 62 83
Louisiana State B. Simmons 275 71 204
Assists Player  
Mississippi St. I. Ready 91
Louisiana State B. Simmons 109
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Mississippi St. Off vs  red bar Louisiana State Defense
blue bar 76.6 Points For
red bar 75.3 Points Against
blue bar 46.5 FG%
red bar 43.4 FG%
blue bar 31.3 Reb
red bar 34.0 Reb
red bar Louisiana State Off vs  blue bar Mississippi St. Defense
red bar 81.0 Points For
blue bar 74.5 Points Against
red bar 47.4 FG%
blue bar 43.9 FG%
red bar 34.0 Reb
blue bar 32.9 Reb