Oxford, MS

Mississippi State men’s basketball returns to action against Ole Miss

Collin Wilmes

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Mississippi State Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. — After a 10-day hiatus, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team will return to action Saturday when it takes on rival Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m. CT inside The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. The game will air on SEC Network.

The Bulldogs (10-3, 1-0 SEC) opened Southeastern Conference play with an 81-68 win over Arkansas on Dec. 29. MSU’s game at Missouri scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Tigers’ program. No makeup date has been set.

In the win over Arkansas, redshirt junior forward Tolu Smith led MSU with 18 points and had six rebounds and a career-high five steals. Junior guard Iverson Molinar added 16 points, while sophomore guard Shakeel Moore and junior forward D.J. Jefferies finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Molinar leads the Bulldogs with 16.8 points and 4.5 assists per game. Smith is second on the team at 14.2 points per game and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, while Moore is putting up 11 points per game and the SEC’s second-most steals per game at 2.3. Graduate forward Garrison Brooks and Jefferies are averaging 10.9 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.

The Rebels (8-5, 0-1 SEC) are coming off a 66-60 overtime loss at No. 18 Tennessee. They were without leading scorer senior guard Jarkel Joiner, who has a sore back, and three other players because of COVID-19.

Joiner is averaging 14.8 points per game, while freshman guard Daeshun Ruffin has averaged 11 points a game.

Saturday’s contest will be the 265th between the Bulldogs and Rebels on the hardwood. MSU owns a 146-118 lead in the all-time series.

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