Tulane preview

Mississippi State is seeking to end a 17-game road losing streak behind leading scorer and rebounder Gavin Ware. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Mississippi State is seeking to end a 17-game road losing streak behind leading scorer and rebounder Gavin Ware. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Mississippi State ventured away from Starkville last weekend for the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.

But today the Bulldogs will receive their first true road test of the year traveling to Tulane at 1 p.m.

The road has not been kind to Rick Ray and MSU and are looking to snap a 17-game losing skid on the road. The Bulldogs last victory on the road came in Ray’s initial Southeastern Conference game against Georgia on Jan. 12, 2013.

Ray is 1-21 all-time on the road.

Today marks the 93rd meeting between the two programs and the Green Wave are the most common non-conference opponent for MSU. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 53-39 but it is Tulane who holds the advantage in New Orleans, 26-21.

State’s 53 victories are also the most against any non-conference foe although most came when the Green Wave were an SEC member. The Bulldogs won the last meeting 72-50 at the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic on Dec. 27, 2003.

MSU has won six straight over Tulane in the series. The Green Wave’s last win came in 1966.

The Bulldogs are 76-61 against the teams currently in the American Athletic Conference.

Mississippi State is 5-1 on the year and are coming off a 61-52 loss to TCU in the championship game of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic a week ago. Junior shooting guard Fred Thomas led the Bulldogs in that contest with 14 points but as a team were outrebounded for the first time all year and had just three assists.

MSU is shooting 47.1 percent from the field and averaging 68.7 points per game. The Bulldogs are knocking down 31.5 percent from the outside and 71.7 from the charity stripe. They have outrebounded their opponents by 12.5 allowing 57.3 points on 38.5 percent shooting.

Junior forward Gavin Ware paces State with 13.8 points and seven rebounds while senior forward Roquez Johnson is putting up 12.2 points and pulling down 4.8 boards.

Thomas tops the backcourt with 13.3 points accompanied by senior point guard Trivante Bloodman adding nine points and four assists and junior wing Travis Daniels contributing 7.8 points.

True freshman quarterback Elijah Staley began practicing basketball with the Bulldogs this week but will not make the trek to Tulane.

The Green Wave are off to a 6-1 start and have won six straight after dropping its opener to Wake Forest. Tulane is on the heels of an 83-70 victory at Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday behind 18 points from senior forward Tre Drye (6-6, 225).

Ed Conroy‘s club is shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and scoring 77 points. The Green Wave are hitting 34.6 percent from behind the arc and 71.5 percent from the free throw line. Tulane is outrebounding its opposition by 7.4 surrendering 62.1 points on 43.2 percent shooting.

The backcourt duo of junior Louis Dabney (6-3, 210) and senior Jay Hook (6-4, 180) pace the Green Wave with 12.6 and 12.3 points respectively. Sophomore guard Jonathan Stark (6-0, 170) is chipping in 10.7 points.

Drye is averaging 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds while sophomore forward Ryan Smith (6-11, 250) is adding 2.4 points and grabbing three boards.

Today’s game will be streamed by ESPN3 with Tim Grubbs and Houston Francher 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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