Mississippi State returns to action tonight to take on the Texas A&M Aggies to start a three-game home stand. The Bulldogs (8-4, 3-1) are coming off back-to-back wins over Missouri and Vanderbilt and look to start 4-1 in conference play for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Aggies (6-4, 1-3) are coming off back-to-back losses after beating the Auburn Tigers in their second SEC game of the season.
The Bulldogs and Aggies have only met fourteen times on the hardwood and are tied in the overall series at 7-7. Mississippi State has had recent success against A&M winning four of the last five meetings with the Aggies. The Bulldogs have been on a roll of late winning five out of their last six games, and a win tonight would keep them among the top teams in the conference.
The recent success is largely due to the two Bulldog guards Iverson Molinar and D.J. Stewart Jr. who are among the top 4 scorers in the SEC. While the duo gets much of the praise from the media, sophomore forward Tolu Smith is quietly leading the conference in rebounds. Bulldog coach Ben Howland has noticed the contributions from his sophomore forward…
“He leads the league in rebounding, and he’s getting 3.8 offensive rebounds per game. I thought this last week in particular he made a big jump and is really learning to slow down more and take his time around the basket in terms of his post moves. It will be tested tomorrow because he’s going to get doubled every time he touches the ball. That’s what part of their [Texas A&M] routine is, and their scheme is to double from the baseline side. He’s doing a tremendous job for us, so we’re getting good things.”
Mississippi State needs to take advantage of this three-game home stretch as they will be going on the road in four of the next five games after.
Who: Mississippi State (8-4, 3-1 SEC) vs. Texas A&M (6-4, 1-3 SEC)
Where: Humphrey Coliseum
When: Wednesday, January 13, 8:00 p.m. CT
Watch: SEC Network