BASKETBALL UPDATE: No. 18 Mississippi State (17-5, 4-3 SEC)

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Looking back: MSU defeated LSU at home Wednesday, 76-71, then lost at No. 14 Florida on Saturday, 69-57.
Looking ahead: The Bulldogs have no midweek game, and then will be back home Saturday to host Auburn (3 p.m., SEC Network).
Who’s hot: Forward Arnett Moultrie had 28 points and 12 rebounds against LSU, shooting 10 of 18 from the field and 8 of 11 from the free throw line. He had a tougher time at Florida, grinding out 12 points and 13 boards, and he committed six turnovers.
Who’s not: Forward Renardo Sidney had three points and four rebounds versus LSU, and coach Rick Stansbury blamed it on an illness. He wasn’t very effective against Florida either, notching five points (2-of-7 shooting) and six rebounds.
RPI watch: The Bulldogs are up to 34th in the RPI rankings, according to RealTimeRPI.com. They’re now 3-3 against current top-50 RPI teams. Florida is up to 18th. Looking ahead, Auburn’s RPI rank is 141.
Bottom line: MSU has been doing just enough to remain ranked – the new polls come out today – but hasn’t been able to get on a roll. State has lost three of its last seven, and it hasn’t won three in a row since before Christmas.
Teams that press – and Florida did that a bit – continue to cause MSU problems, and the perimeter defense has been lacking. MSU’s last three opponents have collectively made 36 of 72 from 3-point range.

Bulldogs
November
N7 Eastern Kentucky W, 76-66
N9 Akron L, 68-58
N12 South Alabama W, 80-65
N17 n-Texas Aamp&M W, 69-60
N18 n-Arizona W, 67-57
N21 Louisiana-Monroe W, 78-63
N25 UT Martin W, 76-50
N27 North Texas W, 82-59
December
D3 West Virginia W, 75-62
D10 Troy W, 106-68
D13 Florida Atlantic W, 75-68
D17 at Detroit W, 80-75
D22 1-Northwestern St. W, 82-67
D28 2-Baylor L, 54-52
D31 Utah State W, 66-64
January
J7 *at Arkansas L, 98-88
J12 *Tennessee W, 62-58
J14 *Alabama W, 56-52
J18 *at Ole Miss L, 65-68
J21 *at Vanderbilt W, 78-77
J25 *LSU W, 76-71
J28 *at Florida L, 69-57
February
F4 *Auburn [SEC] 3 p.m.
F9 *Ole Miss [ESPN/2] 6 p.m.
F11 *Georgia [SEC] 12:30 p.m.
F14 *at LSU [ESPNU] 8 p.m.
F18 *at Auburn [FSN] 7 p.m.
F21 *Kentucky [ESPN] 8 p.m.
F25 *at Alabama [ESPN/2] 5 p.m.
F29 *at South Carolina [SEC] 7 p.m.
March
M3 *Arkansas [FSN] 4 p.m.
n-Neutral court, 1-at Jackson 2-at Dallas