STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team closes out its three-game homestand on Tuesday as it plays host to rival Ole Miss at Humphrey Coliseum. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. CT and will air on SEC Network.
The Bulldogs (9-5, 4-2 SEC) are fresh off a 72-69 bounce-back win over the Florida Gators on Saturday. In that game, redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith scored a career-high 27 points to go with a career-high 14 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Iverson Molinar had 13 points, while redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. and redshirt senior forward Abdul Ado had 11 points apiece. Ado also had nine boards.
Molinar leads MSU with 18.4 points per game, while Stewart is second with 17.4. Smith is averaging 13.8 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds.
The Bulldogs boast a plus-9.9 rebound margin, which leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks ninth nationally. MSU has outrebounded 13 of its 14 opponents this season.
Ole Miss (6-6, 1-4 SEC) has lost three SEC games in a row, falling to Georgia (78-74), Florida (72-63) and LSU (75-61).
Ole Miss is 0-6 when it allows at least 65 points and 6-0 when it holds opponents to less than 65. The Rebels have scored 66.0 points per game and have allowed 75.0 over its three-game road losing streak.
Senior guard Devontae Shuler leads the team with 14.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. Forward Romello White, a graduate transfer from Arizona State, is averaging 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
The Rebels have forced opponents to turn the ball over on 25.3% of all possessions, the 10th-best rate in the country.
Tuesday’s contest will be the 263rd meeting between the two programs on the hardwood, making it the SEC’s most-played rivalry. MSU holds a 145-117 lead in the series and has won 16 of the 20 meetings at Humphrey Coliseum. Both teams protected their home court last season. The Bulldogs won 69-44 in Starkville and lost 83-58 in Oxford, Mississippi.