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Mississippi State men’s basketball visits Auburn to end regular season

Tip time is set for noon.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

AUBURN, Ala. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team closes out the regular season Saturday against Auburn inside Auburn Arena. Tip time is set for noon CT and will air on SEC Network.

The Bulldogs (14-12, 8-9 SEC) have won three of their last four games, including Wednesday’s 63-57 win at Texas A&M. In that game, sophomore guard Iverson Molinar and redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. led MSU with 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Redshirt senior forward Abdul Ado added eight points, six rebounds and five blocked shots. Redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith also scored eight and added six rebounds and five assists.

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference in opponent field goal percentage (39.8%) and No. 1 in rebounding margin (plus-6.8).

Stewart leads MSU in scoring with an average of 16.4 points per game, while Molinar is second with 16.3 per game. Smith is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds.

The Tigers (12-14, 6-11 SEC) have lost four of their last five and played the last three games without leading scorer and the SEC’s top assist man in freshman guard Sharife Cooper. Cooper, who is averaging 20.2 points and 8.1 assists, is unlikely to play Saturday.

Sophomore guard Allen Flanigan is averaging 14.0 points and 5.6 assists, while freshman guard Justin Powell and sophomore forward Jaylin Williams are averaging 11.7 and 10.7 points.

Saturday’s meeting with be the 149th for the Bulldogs and Tigers on the hardwood. The Tigers own a 78-70 series edge, including a 48-23 record in Auburn. The Bulldogs’ last win in Auburn was a 78-71 victory on Jan. 21, 2015.