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Hoops Preview: Mississippi State @ Oregon State

The Bulldogs fly out to the west coast for a Pac 12 matchup against the Beavers of Oregon State.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Where to Watch: Pac 12 Network. 3 PM CST

Coming off a tough loss last week against Tulane, the Bulldogs (5-2) face another challenge as they prepare to take on Oregon State (5-2) on Saturday.

After starting the season 5-0, the Bulldogs have now lost their last two games. This will be only the second meeting between State and the Beavers, who themselves are coming off an overtime win against Portland and are riding a two game winning streak. The Beavers have already played one SEC team this season in Auburn, with the Tigers coming away with the win, 71-69.

Last week, Mississippi State's struggles shooting the ball continued as they shot below 40% from the floor for the second week in a row. In both of the team's losses the Bulldogs were outrebounded and struggled to hit from behind the arc, hitting on only 15% of their three point attempts against Tulane.

It has to be said that Mississippi State is going to have to get more production from their bench. Against Tulane the reserves only contributed 8 points and only scored 9 in the loss to TCU. On the other side, bench production has been critical in Oregon State's success, with Junior Victor Robbins coming off the bench to score 18 points in the overtime win against Portland.

As Gavin Ware said in a press conference earlier this week "We had a lack of communication against Tulane. We have to execute against Oregon State". He is right, in both of their losses Mississippi State had a chance to either tie or win the game in the closing minutes and failed to execute. If this team wants to end the eighteen game road game losing streak they are going to have to execute, on both sides of the ball.

Away from the Hump this has been a different team and this is a long trip out to Corvallis. Until this team can prove they are capable of winning on the road it will be hard to pick them. As with a majority of Bulldog games this season I expect a close game that will come down to the final minutes, with Oregon State eking out a close win.

Eck's Pick: Oregon State 70-65