Mississippi State ventures out on the road for the second straight game traveling to Florida State at 8 p.m. tonight.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 72-67 loss at Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday in their first true road game. Not even a career-best 18 points from freshman guard Malik Newman would be enough from keeping MSU from falling to 4-4 on the year.
The Bulldogs lead the series against FSU 5-4 but are 0-2 in Tallahassee. Mississippi State claimed a 62-55 victory over the Seminoles in Starkville last season behind 14 points from I.J. Ready. The junior guard is questionable for tonight’s game due to turf toe.
Senior forward Travis Daniels has been ruled out for the Bulldogs after suffering a concussion during Monday’s practice. Coach Ben Howland was unsure what his starting lineup would be without Daniels.
MSU is 30-50 all-time against teams from the ACC.
The Bulldogs lead the SEC shooting 48.6 percent from the field and scoring 80.2 points. Mississippi State is also making 30.7 percent from 3-point range and 73.6 percent from the charity stripe. It was outrebounded opponents by 1.3 while allowing 76.1 points on 47.5 shooting.
Senior forward Gavin Ware tops the conference and ranks fifth nationally shooting 70.7 percent and averages 19 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Ready and senior guard Craig Sword pace the Bulldogs’ backcourt with 12.4 points each while Newman adds 12 points.
Florida State is 6-2 on the year and have won four of its last five outings. The Seminoles are coming off a 75-57 home victory against Southeastern Louisiana led by an 18-point performance by junior guard Benji Bell (6-4, 204).
FSU’s roster features three 7-footers – senior centers Michael Ojo (7-1, Nigeria) and Boris Bojanovsky (7-3, Slovak Republic) and freshman Chris Koumadje (7-4, Chad).
Leonard Hamilton, who is in his 14th season with the Seminoles, has his team shooting 48.9 percent from the floor and averaging 85.4 points. Florida State is hitting 33.8 percent from the outside and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. It is outrebounding opposing teams by 7.6 while surrendering 72.2 points on 43.8 percent shooting.
Freshman guard Malik Beasley (6-5, 196) tops the Seminoles in scoring at 18.3 points per game. Beasley is joined in the backcourt by fellow freshman guard Dwayne Bacon (6-7, 221) adding 15.8 points and Canadian sophomore Xavier Rathan-Mayes (6-4, 208) contributing 11.9.
Senior guard Devon Bookert (6-3, 198) led FSU with 16 points against the Bulldogs last year and is currently coming off the bench.
Senior forward Montay Brandon (6-8, 229) is putting up 5.6 points and pulling down 4.8 rebounds while Bojanovsky is scoring eight points and grabbing 4.4 boards.
Tonight’s game will be televised on ESPN2 with Karl Ravech and Mo Cassera on the call.