Last month, Mississippi State was able to pull within three points at Arkansas with 5:28 remaining in the game.
However, the Razorbacks went on to score 20 more points before the final horn sounded by burying a barrage of five 3-pointers down the stretch. Arkansas knocked down 16 total shots from the perimeter to take an 82-68 victory, its fifth straight over the Bulldogs.
The two teams will meet for the second time this season at 8 p.m. tonight on SEC Network.
This time, MSU will have home court advantage although the Hogs have won two straight at Humphrey Coliseum. Arkansas have a 33-25 lead in the overall series with the Bulldogs holding a 19-7 lead in Starkville.
“Last time it took 16 3’s to beat a Ben Howland coached team,” said Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. “It’s going to be a challenge for us to go into the Hump in Starkville.”
The Razorbacks (12-11, 5-5 SEC) have struggled on the road this season sporting just a 1-6 record. Their only road win came at Missouri and have lost their last three games away from Bud Walton Arena.
State is just 6-4 at home this season following last week’s 82-80 overtime loss to Alabama. The Bulldogs’ four home losses have come by a combined 12 points (Southern 4, Texas A&M 1, Tennessee 5, Alabama 2).
“It’s been tough for us,” Howland said. “We have to find a way to get over that hump in those close home games.”
The Arkansas game begins a three-game homestand for the Bulldogs followed by outings against Georgia and Vanderbilt.
Mississippi State is 9-13 on the year and 2-8 in conference play. The Bulldogs are coming off an 88-77 road loss at LSU on Saturday without the services of point guard I.J. Ready.
Ready missed the LSU game with back spasms but Howland is hopeful to have the Little Rock native back for tonight’s game against his home state team.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be able to play but I’m not sure,” Howland said. “It was a back situation for him. I did not know he wasn’t going to be able to play until literally when we were doing the starting five introductions.”
Gavin Ware leads the Bulldogs averaging 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds and tops the SEC shooting 62.5 percent from the field.
Arkansas guards Dusty Hannahs and Anthlon Bell did most of the damage against MSU in the previous outing, combining for 51 points and 13 3-pointers. Hannahs had 26 points and eight 3s while Bell added 25 points on five 3s.
Hannahs leads the Hogs with 17 points per game along with Bell at 16.5 points. Former New Albany standout Moses Kingsley is close behind at 16.4 points and 9.2 boards.