Missouri at Mississippi State
• WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Wednesday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.
• TV/RADIO: KSMO (Ch. 62); KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)
ABOUT MISSOURI (17-6, 6-4 SEC): The Tigers are coming off an important 98-79 home win over Mississippi, avenging a 64-49 road loss in Oxford in early January. … Missouri received a monster performance from senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who scored a career-high 22 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. … Junior point guard Phil Pressey now has 499 assists in his career, the most in school history. … Missouri is looking to snap a five-game skid on the road. … Senior guard Keion Bell leads the Tigers in scoring with 15.4 points a game during the past month.
• ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-15, 2-8 SEC): The Bulldogs will be shorthanded after the recent suspension of guard Jalen Steele, leaving Mississippi State with six scholarship players. … The Bulldogs have lost eight straight and are looking to avoid five straight home losses for the first time since 1986. … The Bulldogs are 0-12 when trailing at halftime and 0-11 when opponents shoot 45 percent or better. … Bulldogs coach Rick Ray is a native of Kansas City.
• BOTTOM LINE: Put it this way: if Missouri can’t win this one, a road victory simply might not happen this season. The Bulldogs simply don’t have the bodies or talent to match Missouri. The Tigers have been so poor on the road, it’s feasible the Bulldogs — who did find a way to beat South Carolina and Georgia — could spring the upset. But Missouri would have to play poorly for that to be a chance, and if that happens, it will speak to a problem larger than an inability to play well away from Mizzou Arena.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org