Mississippi Valley State preview


Demetrius Houston scored three points and had seven rebounds in his MSU debut. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Demetrius Houston scored three points and had seven rebounds in his MSU debut. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Mississippi State is back in action off the heels of its season-opening 66-56 victory against Western Carolina on Friday.

The Bulldogs continue their homestand at 7 p.m. tonight against Mississippi Valley State.

MSU has won the four previous meetings on the hardwood between the two Magnolia State programs by an average of 26 points. The Bulldogs claimed a 94-72 victory in Starkville last season behind a 23 points and 11 rebounds from junior center Gavin Ware.

MSU is 24-3 all-time against SWAC opponents.

Rick Ray‘s roster 45.9 percent from the field in the opener and saw five players make their debuts at State. The Bulldogs shot 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 75.7 percent from the free throw line.

Mississippi State outrebounded the Catamounts by 12 and allowed just 36.2 shooting.

Senior forward Roquez Johnson led the Bulldogs with 16 points while adding five boards. Junior forward Travis Daniels had two points and a rebound in his first career outing.

Junior shooting guard Fred Thomas scored 15 points while senior point guard Trivante Bloodman chipped in seven points and six assists in the opener.

Ware notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks.

Craig Sword, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer the last two seasons, was not medically cleared for the season opener while recovering from back surgery. Sword’s status will be reevaluated prior to tonight’s game.

Mississippi Valley State fell 116-65 in its first game at Indiana on Friday. The Delta Devils forced 19 turnovers in that contest but were out-rebounded by 27.

First year coach Andre Payne saw his team shoot 34.2 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from downtown. Valley made 47.6 percent of its free throws and had 13 steals.

Indiana shot 66.1 percent in that outing.

Redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Washington (5-10, 174) led the Delta Devils with 17 points. Senior wing DeAngelo Priar (6-3, 182) with 11 and junior guard Tyler Corley (5-10, 175) finished one point shy of double digits with nine.

Priar led Mississippi Valley  State with 19 points against the Bulldogs last season.

Sophomore forward Vacha Vaughn (6-4, 210) put up three points but had no rebounds while freshman forward Dwain Whitfield (6-6, 226) scored two points and had a pair of boards.

Today’s game will be streamed at SEC Network + with Bart Gregory and Matt Wyatt on the call.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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