REWIND: <b>Mississippi State (7-17, 2-10 SEC)</b>

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Looking back
The Bulldogs were hammered at home on Wednesday by Missouri, 78-36, the worst loss in Humphrey Coliseum’s 38-year history.
A trip to LSU on Saturday resulted in an 80-68 loss despite Craig Sword’s career-high 25 points.
MSU has now lost 10 consecutive games, its longest skid in 31 years.

Looking ahead
MSU is back on the road this week against Alabama (17-8, 9-3), then returns home to battle Vanderbilt (10-14, 4-8). State lost to Alabama 75-43 on Jan. 16 in Starkville.

Who’s hot
After scoring only four points against Missouri, Sword dropped 25 on LSU. He made 9 of 14 shots from the field and 7 of 10 from the foul line.
He also had four assists and a pair of blocks.
Who’s not
Guard Fred Thomas has been cold from 3-point range, making just 4 of 26 over the last seven games. He made 3 of 15 shots from the field in last week’s losses – including 1 of 8 from deep – and scored eight points total.

RPI watch
MSU’s RPI rank dipped a bit this week, to 231, and remains the lowest in the SEC. Looking ahead to this week’s opponents, Alabama’s RPI rank is 59, while Vanderbilt’s is 141.

Bottom line
Forward Colin Borchert said on Friday that the Bulldogs have hit a wall, which is typical for such a young team. Physical and mental exhaustion are taking a toll, and there are still six regular-season games left. The hope for State is that these current struggles will produce long-term fruit.

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