November 13, 2009
Mississippi State begins the 2009-10 campaign tonight with plenty of preseason recognition and a No. 18 ranking.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 23-13 record last year which included a Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship and a birth in the NCAA Tournament.
MSU will welcome Rider to Humphrey Coliseum at 8 p.m. as part of a doubleheader hoops evening sharing the floor with the Lady Bulldogs, who open their season with Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 5 p.m.
State is 76-21 all-time in season openers including 9-2 under head coach Rick Stansbury winning the past six lidlifters.
Tonight marks the second time the two schools have met on the hardwood. The Bulldogs won the only meeting 72-64 in the Senior Bowl Tournament held in Mobile, Ala., Dec. 28, 1979. Mississippi State is 2-0 against schools from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs return all five starters from last season. MSU averaged 74.4 points and shot 43.2-percent from the floor last season. They also drained 36.1-percent of their shots from the outside and were 71-percent from the free throw line but were outrebounded on the year by 0.9 a contest.
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