MSU Take On Troy At 6 pm Tonight

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State continues its nine-game homestand to open the season when the Troy Trojans invade Humphrey Coliseum at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets remain available for the contest and can be purchased at a special price of $5.

MSU, which owns a 3-0 ledger following its 82-76 win on Monday against Detroit, is 7-0 all-time against Troy. The two last met in December of 2005, with the Bulldogs claiming an 88-77 overtime victory.

"We still have a lot of areas of improvement, but we're getting better each game," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said.

The Bulldogs are seeking their first 4-0 start since 2008-09 and the fifth with Stansbury at the helm. MSU got to 3-0 thanks to clutch play down the stretch in all three games.

How clutch?

In the first three outings, all won by 10 points or less, Mississippi State has drained 24 of its 29 free throws in the final three minutes of action. Also of note, MSU hasn't opened the season with four-straight games decided by 10 points or less since the 1942-43 campaign.

"These are the types of games we expected," Stansbury said.

Fortunately for the Bulldogs, they've gotten solid play out of senior guard Ravern Johnson and senior forward Kodi Augustus.

Johnson leads the SEC with his 25.3 scoring clip, while Augustus is second in rebounding (11.0) and tied for eighth in scoring (16.7). Against Detroit, they scored 25 and 10 points, respectfully.

Following the game against the Titans, Stansbury said the ideal situation is for the two to combine for 45 points. While that goal came up a bit short, guards Riley Benock and Twany Benock made up the difference.

Both had career nights, as Benock scored 13 points and Beckham 9. MSU also got 21 points from its bench, with Jalen Steele pouring in 9, followed by Brian Bryant and Wendell Lewis with 6 each.

"This year, I'm trying to be more aggressive in general," said Benock, who has started all three games and is averaging 8.3 points.

Troy currently sports a 1-3 ledger following its 81-70 setback on Monday at Texas-San Antonio. The Trojans have dropped three straight since opening the year with a 100-59 win against Huntingdon.

They are led in scoring by Vernon Taylor's 16.0 points, followed by Levan Patsatsia at 14.5.

After Monday, the Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at home against Florida Atlantic in the first meeting between the two schools.

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