Mississippi State ventures to South Carolina at 5 p.m. CT today on the SEC Network seeking better fortune.
The Bulldogs dropped a three-game homestand at Humphrey Coliseum with two losses coming to ranked competition. MSU fell 74-56 to top-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday.
“No one has canceled their season because they lost to Kentucky,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “Everybody has lost to Kentucky so we have to put this one behind us and get ready for the next game.”
The Bulldogs (12-16, 5-10 SEC) have had success in Columbia, going 7-5 and is the only SEC road road venue where State holds a winning record.
The Bulldogs lead the overall series 18-10 and have won three of the last four meetings. South Carolina snapped the streak last year in Starkville with a 74-62 victory behind 27 points from Brenton Williams and 22 from Sindarius Thornwell.
The Gamecocks (13-14, 4-11 SEC) have lost two straight including a 59-51 loss at Alabama on Tuesday.
South Carolina’s starting lineup features three international player led by sophomore guard Duane Notice of Ontario. Notice is averaging 11.3 points followed closely Thornwell’s 11.2 points.
The Bulldogs are led by junior forward Gavin Ware, who is putting up 10.2 points and grabbing 7.4 rebounds. Junior guard Craig Sword scored 19 points during last year’s game against the Gamecocks and is averaging 19 points in three career outings against South Carolina.
Sword is averaging 13.2 points per game in conference play this season and has led State in scoring in six of the last nine outings. On Wednesday, he became the 34th player in school history to join the 1,000-point club.
Entering the final three games of the regular season, Mississippi State sits 10th in the SEC standings while the Gamecocks are one game back at 11th.