Northern Colorado preview

Former Jackson Academy standout Carter Holmes returns to his hometown tonight. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

Former Jackson Academy standout Carter Holmes returns to his hometown tonight. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

Mississippi State will trek down to the state capital tonight to take on Northern Colorado. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Mississippi Coliseum.

The Bulldogs own a 16-6 overall record at the “Big House” but saw its 12-game winning streak at the venue snapped last year as USC Upstate hit a last second bucket to win 53-51.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Jackson area natives Carter Holmes, Malik Newman, Fred Thomas and Quinndary Weatherspoon.

Tonight will be the first ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Bears. MSU does have a 5-3 record against teams from the Big Sky Conference.

The Bulldogs are 5-5 on the year and are coming off a 69-59 home win over Tulane on Saturday. Newman, a freshman guard, led State with 15 points in that contest.

Ben Howland‘s bunch is shooting 46.7 percent from the field and scoring 77.7 points per game. The Bulldogs are making 30.7 percent from 3-point range and 74.3 percent from the charity stripe. Mississippi State has been outrebounded by 0.4 while allowing opponents to score 75.8 points on 46.9 percent shooting.

Senior forward Gavin Ware leads the Bulldogs with 17.7 points and 7.9 rebounds. Ware has scored in double figures in all 10 games this season. He is joined down low by fellow senior Travis Daniels putting up 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds.

Senior guard Craig Sword is scoring 13.3 points per game and leads the Southeastern Conference with 1,222 career points. Newman is adding 12.3 points while junior I.J. Ready rounds out the backcourt with 11.4 points and 4.2 assists.

Northern Colorado enters tonight’s battle with a 3-8 record having dropped two straight. The Bears fell 79-76 at Jacksonville State on Monday.

It marks just the fifth time Northern Colorado has met an SEC opponent and first in 45 years.

Sixth-year coach B.J. Hill has his squad shooting 43.7 percent from the floor and averaging 75 points per game. The Bears are knocking down 38.9 percent from the outside and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. Northern Colorado is surrendering 81.5 points to its opposition on 46.8 percent shooting.

Junior guard and Southern Miss transfer Dallas Anglin (6-1, 185) paces the Bears with 20 points. Anglin is joined in the backcourt by junior Anthony Johnson (6-2, 190) scoring 16.3 points and junior Jordan Wilson (5-7, 155) chipping in 14.4.

Sophomore center Jeremy Verhagen (6-10, 225) is putting up 7.9 points and pulling down 4.2 boards while sophomore forward Spencer Mathis (6-7, 230) is contributing 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Tonight’s game will be televised by SEC Network with Dave Neal and Jon Sundvold 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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