Bulldogs’ defense to be tested by Tigers

SCHAEFER

SCHAEFER

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss finished near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference standings this season, meaning both will be in action in the first round of tonight’s SEC tournament in Duluth, Ga.

The No. 13 seeded Bulldogs will face 12th-seeded Missouri at 5 p.m., in a game televised on SportSouth.

MSU finished the regular season at 5-11 in conference play and 18-12 overall. The Bulldogs are coming off a 77-48 loss at Georgia on Sunday.

“I still love my team and we’ve really grown this year and certainly matured somewhat,” said MSU coach Vic Schaefer. “I’m excited about our future and I think we’ve got a lot of basketball left in front of us.”

State defeated Missouri 69-62 in Starkville earlier this season and are 2-0 against the Tigers all-time. Freshman Dominique Dillingham led the Bulldogs with 21 points in the Jan. 26 win over Missouri.

“We play a really good Missouri team that’s obviously very hard to defend,” Schaefer said. “They’ve got great shooters on the perimeter and a number of great players.”

Missouri’s Bri Kulas is second in the SEC in scoring averaging 18.6 points per game. The Tigers finished one game ahead of Mississippi State in the league standings at 6-10 and are 17-12 overall.

The Bulldogs have lost three straight SEC tournament games, falling to 14-34 all-time at the event.

The winner of MSU-Missouri will advance to play No. 5 seed Florida at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com