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Hoops Preview: Mississippi State vs. Clayton State

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Coach Rick Ray looks to guide the Bulldogs to 4-0 start.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In what has to be Mississippi State's biggest game of the week, the undefeated Bulldogs (3-0) take on the undefeated Clayton State Lakers in the Corpus Christi Classic.

On Monday night, Coach Rick Ray and company look to improve Mississippi State's record to 4-0 for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. In the team's last outing, the Bulldogs won a back and forth game with Utah State, which ultimately ended in an eight point victory for Mississippi State.

In the first ever meeting with Clayton State (Division II), the Bulldogs will once again rely on the veteran leadership of Senior Roquez Johnson, who has been the leading scorer in each of State's three victories, and Junior Gavin Ware, who has made his presence known in the paint, shooting for 85% while collecting 8 rebounds against Utah State.

Also critical in their first three wins, Mississippi State has been clutch at the free throw line with Junior Trivante Bloodman hitting all six of his attempts to seal the win against Utah State. The team as a whole is hitting on 73% of their free throw attempts, good enough for fourth best in the SEC.

While the competition has been generally weak, the Bulldogs have performed well and were able to withstand a fight against Utah State. If State is able to continue out rebounding their opponent and get to the free throw line with ease the team should quickly overpower Clayton State and the game should serve as a quick tune up before the first real test of the season against St. Louis on Friday.

The game will tip off at 7:00 p.m. CST and can be viewed on the SEC Network+.

Eck's Pick

Mississippi State Victory: 90-59