Although Mississippi State is spending the next few days in the Caribbean, its first game was far from paradise.
The Bulldogs were blown out by Miami 105-79 in their first game of the Puerto Rico Tip-off.
MSU will not have long to lick its wounds as Texas Tech awaits at 4 p.m. CT today on ESPNU.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 1-2 on the year and evened their all-time record in Puerto Rico to 5-5.
During Thursday’s defeat, State surrendered 56.7 percent shooting to the Hurricanes and allowed 46 points in the paint. Senior center Gavin Ware and senior guard Craig Sword fared well individually for the Bulldogs with 20 points each.
Today will mark just the second meeting between Mississippi State and the Red Raiders on the hardwood. Texas Tech won the previous meeting 77-73 as part of the Legends Classic in Newark, NJ on Nov. 29, 2008. Kodi Augustus and Dee Bost led the Bulldogs with 16 points each while Jarvis Varnado had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Howland‘s team enters today’s contest shooting 49 percent from the field and averaging 85.7 points. MSU is hitting 35.7 percent from the outside and 71 percent from the free throw line. It has outrebounded its opponents by 3.7 while giving up 89.7 points on 51.3 percent shooting.
Ware, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, leads the Bulldogs averaging 19.7 points and 7.3 boards. Senior forward Travis Daniels is putting up 10 points and pulling down 4.3 rebounds.
Sword paces the backcourt with 15 points followed closely by junior point guard I.J. Ready with 14.3 points while senior wing Fred Thomas is contributing 6.3 points.
Texas Tech (1-1) is also coming off a 73-63 loss to No. 16 Utah in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday. The Red Raiders made just 3 of 19 from 3-point range but were led in scoring by senior guard Devaugntah Willliams (6-4, 205) who made two of those 3s and finished with 13 points.
Texas Tech is led by former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith. The Red Raiders’ win was at home against High Point and won a pair of exhibition games as well.
Texas Tech is shooting 44.1 percent from the floor and scoring 70 points per game. The Red Raiders have made just 22 percent behind the arc and 62.3 percent from the charity stripe. Their opposition is shooting 41.4 percent against them and averaging 73 points.
Williams tops Texas Tech with 19.5 points. He is accompanied in the backcourt by fellow senior Toddrick Gotcher (6-4, 205) adding 9.5 points and sophomore Keenan Evans (6-3, 180) chipping in six points.
Sophomore forward Zach Smith (6-8, 215) is scoring 7.5 points and grabbing six rebounds while sophomore center Norense Odiase (6-9, 260) is averaging 6.5 points and three boards.