March 1, 2011

Second seed up for grabs

Even as inconsistent as Mississippi State has been this season they still have plenty to play for heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Bulldogs travel to Arkansas Wednesday night fighting to secure the second seed out of the Western Division and lock up a first round bye in the SEC Tournament.

"It's a tough environment and they are playing for the same thing that we are," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "There isn't any secrets about it. The team that wins it basically gets the bye. That's where it is. It's a big challenge for us and I guess its senior night for them. It's a big challenge for us but at the same time it's a great opportunity."

MSU won the previous matchup against the Razorbacks 67-56 on Feb. 9 by holding the Hogs two leading scorers Rotnei Clarke and Marshawn Powell to a combined 13 points.

"We did a very good job on Clarke here the first game," Stansbury said. "Jalen (Steele) guarded him most of the time and that will be a different swing in this game. We also played without Ravern (Johnson) here the first time. For whatever reason Powell never really got going. When Powell and Clarke goes that's when they are really good. They both seem to do a much better job at that at home like a lot of players do."

With Steele sidelined with a knee injury for the remainder of the season it will be up to senior Riley Benock to guard Clarke Wednesday night.

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