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Feb 20, 2024 8:24 pm

Streaking Mississippi State seeks vengeance on rival Ole Miss

josh hubbard

Mississippi State has rattled off three consecutive wins and hopes to keep that streak going against rival Ole Miss on Wednesday night in Starkville, Miss.

The Bulldogs lost to the Rebels in the first meeting of the season on Jan. 30, 86-82, despite leading most of the first half. The importance of Round 2 against Ole Miss isn’t lost on Mississippi State coach Chris Jans.

“The rivalry is what it is,” Jans told The Dispatch in Columbus, Miss. “We understand the importance of it, we understand what it means in the state, we understand what it means to our fanbase and we understand that we lost the first game on the road. That certainly is going to add to what’s going on this week.”

The Bulldogs (17-8, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) topped Arkansas 71-67 in their most recent game on Saturday behind 19 points from Josh Hubbard and the fourth double-double of the season from Cameron Matthews, who posted 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Hubbard and Matthews are averaging 15.0 and 9.6 points per game, respectively. Tolu Smith III leads the team in scoring (16.1 points per game).

Mississippi State is averaging 74.1 points per outing as a team and giving up 67.4.

Ole Miss (19-6, 6-6) finally took some pressure off its shoulders with a 79-76 win over Missouri on Saturday, snapping a three-game losing streak. All three losses came against ranked teams.

Matthew Murrell scored a season-high-tying 26 points in the win, 18 coming from beyond the arc, and is the Rebels’ leading scorer at 17.1 points per game.

Murrell’s coach, Chris Beard, admires the effort he plays with.

“A lot of respect for how he plays defense,” Beard said. “Matt’s an effort guy. He plays hard, man.”

Allen Flanigan has also stepped up. He’s averaging 15.5 points per contest on the season and scored in double figures for the 23rd time in the win over Missouri, posting 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double.

–Field Level Media

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