February 11, 2010

Bulldogs complete sweep of Ole Miss

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State got back on track Thursday night sweeping instate rival Ole Miss 71-63 in front of the largest crowd of the season at Humphrey Coliseum.

The 9,401 fans onhand saw the Bulldogs end a tough two week stretch in which they had dropped four of their previous five games on the road.

"It was a must-win for us so to speak," said MSU guard Barry Stewart. "I think the team came out with energy. We haven't been home in a while and went through a stretch there where we were on the road a lot. We knew our backs were against the wall and we stepped up."

MSU extended their winning streak to 10-straight at home and improved to 5-4 in conference play and 17-7 overall. The Bulldogs have now swept Ole Miss in four of the last seven seasons and 23 of the last 25 meetings in Starkville.

State shot a stellar 49-percent from the floor led by Ravern Johnson's 18 point outburst. Johnson knocked down four of the Bulldogs eight treys on the evening.

"It was good to see Ravern breakout," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "Ravern got going and you notice when he wasn't making those three's that he put the ball on the floor and had a couple of good moves. He has some versatility that he has added to his game and we hope he can keep carrying that over."

Stewart scored 12 points while Jarvis Varnado added his 14th double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Varnado also swatted away four shots leaving him 21 shy of breaking the all-time NCAA career mark of 535.

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