January 6, 2010

Mississippi State readies for SEC opener

Mississippi State jump right into the fight for supremacy in the SEC Western Division Saturday opening up league play on the road against No. 14 Ole Miss.

The Bulldogs will travel to Tad Smith Coliseum where they won last year for the first time since 2005. Both teams were preseason favorites to battle for the division title this season.

"We know no one expects us to win up there and we will be the underdog," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "It's an opportunity to go on the road and win. It counts as one win and one loss. (The SEC schedule) is 16 games."

Both teams come into their SEC opener with a dozen wins on the year. The series has split in each of the past four years after the Bulldogs swept the series from 2002-2005.

"It's the same every year," Stansbury said. "I don't think we've ever went into it thinking because one team has more wins than the other that it's going to be easier. We've gone in on it several times with several wins and maybe them not as much and that rivalry is the same. You can't base anything on those records. (Ole Miss) is always good, particularly when they are at home. They have a great set of guards right now and a very good team right now so it will be even more of a challenge up there for us."

Ole miss is riding a two-game winning streak entering Saturday and are 8-0 at home this season. The Rebels are shooting 47.4-percent from the field and averaging 84.2 points a game.

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