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Northwestern State (7-5) vs. (18) Mississippi State (11-1)



Thursday, December 22nd, 8:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Mississippi Coliseum (7,711) -- Jackson, Mississippi. Television: None. Home Record: Northwestern St. 5-0, Mississippi St. 8-1. Away Record: Northwestern St. 2-5, Mississippi St. 1-0. Neutral Record: Northwestern St. 0-0, Mississippi St. 2-0. Conference Record: Northwestern St. 0-0, Mississippi St. 0-0. Series Record: Mississippi State leads, 5-1.

GAME NOTES: The Northwestern State Demons and the Mississippi State Bulldogs will clash tonight in non-conference action from Mississipp Coliseum in Jackson.

Northwestern State enters this game on a bit of a roll, as it has posted three consecutive victories to improve to 7-5 overall. The Demons have played well offensively the last two times out, including in Monday's 89-79 victory over Central Methodist. While they are a perfect 5-0 at home, their 2-5 road record leaves much to be desired.

As impressive as Northwestern State has been the last few times out, Mississippi State has been even better when considering its current 10-game win streak and 11-1 overall record. The Bulldogs beat Detroit by an 80-75 final on Saturday, and eight of their 11 wins this season have come at home.

Mississippi State and Northwestern State have met on six previous occasions, five of which have been won by the Bulldogs.

Six players reached double figures in scoring for Northwestern State in the 10-point victory over Central Methodist on Monday, and Shamir Davis led the way with 19 points in 29 minutes of action. Louis Ellis and William Mosley scored 14 points apiece, and Mosley posted 12 rebounds and four blocked shots as well. The Demons earned a 39-30 rebounding advantage in that affair and shot a solid 49.2 percent from the floor. An 18-8 edge in points from the foul line also helped the cause, as did 16 forced turnovers. Davis is scoring 13.2 ppg this season to pace his club, and he has logged more assists (40) and steals (20) than any other player on the roster. Ellis checks in with 10.2 ppg, an output that would obviously be higher if not for his 37.3 percent shooting from the floor. The Demons are netting 72.4 ppg overall while permitting 69.8 ppg to opponents.

Dee Bost and Arnette Moultrie form an outstanding duo for Mississippi State, which is scoring 76.8 ppg while allowing 63.4 ppg. Bost is averaging 18.0 ppg to go along with 4.5 apg and 2.3 spg, while Moultrie adds 17.1 ppg and 11.4 rpg to the mix. Rodney Hood and Renardo Sidney add some balance to the lineup with 12.5 ppg and 10.3 rpg, respectively. Moultrie returned from a knee injury to play against Detroit last Saturday and posted 17 points and 13 boards in that affair. Brian Bryant also netted 17 points in a reserve role, while Sidney tallied 16 points. Bost scored 13 points for the Bulldogs, who shot nearly 50 percent from the field and turned the ball over a mere eight times. They also earned a 38-33 rebounding edge and showed a great deal of toughness to knock off a pesky opponent.

Mississippi State will get the job done tonight in what appears to be a favorable matchup for the Bulldogs. The Demons are due to come back to Earth, and MSU has the firepower to make that happen.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Mississippi State 80, Northwestern State 60

12/22 10:44:26 ET

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