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MSU looks for basketball win at LSU

February 16, 2013

Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray, right, shouts instructions to his team during the last meeting with LSU two weeks ago. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

It has been a rough past few weeks for the Mississippi State men's basketball team.

The Bulldogs have lost nine-straight games after opening up 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play.

MSU head coach Rick Ray wants his team to finish strong, but he knows to do that it has to find a way to stay in the game early.

That's something that certainly didn't happen during Wednesday's 78-36 loss to Missouri.

"We have to be in the game first, then we can worry about finishing it out," Ray said after the game.

It was the biggest loss for the Bulldogs in Humphrey Coliseum. They only scored 10 points at halftime and it took nearly 10 minutes before MSU got on the scoreboard.

"This is an embarrassing loss when you go out and you are totally inept offensively," Ray said. "You would hope that guys would have some pride in themselves and Mississippi State basketball, would want to go out and try to rectify that. If that's not enough, then we've got problems."

The Bulldogs start a two-game road trip today in Baton Rouge, La. MSU (7-16, 2-9) takes on the LSU Tigers (14-8, 5-6). Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. It can be seen on ESPNU.

The Tigers took the first game of the season in Starkville on Feb. 2. Anthony Hickey hit a floater in the lane with less than two seconds remaining to give LSU the come from behind win. MSU led by 14 points at halftime in that contest.

Dating back to last year's game in Baton Rouge, Hickey has hit a last second shot in the last two games between the teams.

The Bulldogs haven't been swept by the Tigers sine 2009. Since 1992, LSU has swept MSU five times.

If the Bulldogs see the losing skid stretch to 10 in a row, that would be the most since dropping 11-straight from Dec. 12, 1981 to Jan. 23, 1982.

MSU junior guard Jalen Steele has been suspend for the last two games. It is unclear if he will make the trip with the Bulldogs and play against LSU.

"(I have) no idea yet," Ray said after the Missouri game.

Mississippi native Johnny O'Bryant III leads the Tigers with 13.2 points per game. He scored 30 in a win over South Carolina on Thursday. Hickey is averaging 11.8 points per outing, Shavon Coleman adds 11 points per game and Andre Stringer is averaging just under 11 points per contest.

MSU freshman guard Fred Thomas paces the team in scoring with 10.2 points per game. 

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