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Mississippi State men’s basketball opens SEC play against Georgia

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Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT.

NCAA Basketball: Holiday Hoopsgiving-Mississippi State at Dayton Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

ATHENS, Ga. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team opens its 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule on Wednesday on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs. Tip time at Stegeman Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by SEC Network.

Mississippi State (5-3) is coming off a pair of nonconference victories over Central Arkansas (81-65) and Mississippi Valley State (87-48).

In its last game, MSU had five players score in double figures. Sophomore guard Iverson Molinar finished with a game-high 18 points. He also added five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith had 13 points and 12 rebounds, while redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. added 15 points. Both redshirt senior forward Jalen Johnson and sophomore forward Quinten Post added 10 points.

Stewart leads the Bulldogs with 18.3 points per game, while Molinar is second with 17.6. Smith is averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 8.9 rebounds.

MSU will be looking to end a two-game losing streak in SEC openers and a three-game losing streak in SEC road openers. The last time MSU won an SEC opener was a 78-75 victory over then-No. 22 Arkansas on Jan. 2, 2018. MSU beat LSU 98-75 on the road on Jan. 7, 2017.

Georgia (7-0) is one of four SEC teams to enter conference play undefeated. No. 7 Tennessee, No. 12 Missouri and Arkansas are the others.

Georgia has five players scoring in double figures. Sophomore forward Toumani Camara leads the team with 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Sahvir Wheeler is second with 13.7 points and a league-high 7.4 assists.

Graduate transfer guard Justin Kier and graduate transfer forward Andrew Garcia are averaging 12.0 and 10.6 points. Junior guard Tye Fagan is averaging 11.0 points.

Wednesday’s matchup is the 115th meeting between the two programs on the hardwood. Georgia holds a 58-56 series lead, but MSU has won the last three meetings.