News from MSU Media Relations--Jan. 21

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Men's Basketball and Men's Tennis.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak, Mississippi State looks to make it three in a row on Saturday when it travels to Georgia for a key SEC showdown.

Tip at Stegeman Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by the SEC Network. Carter Blackburn will handle the play-by-play duties, while Mark Gottfried will serve as the analyst.

"Georgia is coming off a tough loss, but there is no question they are a very good basketball team," said 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team is 10-7 overall and 2-1 in SEC play. "We all saw what they did against Kentucky. It's going to be a challenge, especially playing on the road."

MSU has enjoyed a lot of success against the Bulldogs in recent years, winning three straight and eight of the last 10. Stansbury's Bulldogs also enjoyed a win their last visit to Athens in 2009, 67-61.

However, MSU hasn't won back-to-back games at Stegeman since winning three straight from 1973-75.

"They are one of the best teams we've faced so far," Stansbury said. "They'll have the crowd on their side, and they are going to be looking to get back in the win column."

And it's no secret why Georgia stands at 13-4 overall and 2-2 in league play. In the paint, All-SEC standout Trey Thompkins is averaging 17.6 points. From the perimeter, Travis Leslie is adding 14.5 points.

But MSU has its weapons inside and out, too.

Since his return three games ago, junior point guard Dee Bost is averaging 16 points and 7 assists, while senior guard Ravern Johnson leads MSU with his 18.5 clip.

Inside, sophomore Renardo Sidney is averaging 14.4 points, followed by Kodi Augustus at 12.4. Augustus is also third in the SEC in rebounding at 8.6.

After Saturday, the Bulldogs return to Humphrey Coliseum for back-to-back games against Vanderbilt and Florida on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, respectively.

Men's Tennis
AUBURN, Ala. - Claiming six of their eight singles matches played on the opening day of the Auburn Invitational, the Mississippi State men's tennis team got things started on the right track at the weekend tournament played at Auburn's Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala.

On the opening day of action the Bulldogs faced opponents from Arkansas in eight singles matches and four doubles matches. The Bulldogs proved dominant in singles play winning six matches, four of which were in straight sets.

MSU's George Coupland defeated Razorback Matt Hogan in come-from-behind fashion. After dropping the opening set, 6-3, Coupland powered back to take the next two sets and the match, 6-3, 6-2. Bulldog junior Artem Ilyushin won in a straight-set bout over Gregoire Lehmann of Arkansas, 6-3, 6-2. Also reeling off a straight-set victory was MSU's 60th ranked Louis Cant who won, 6-3, 6-2, over Arkansas' Nikolas Zogaj. Bulldog newcomer Malte Stropp won easily over Mike Ward of the Razorbacks, 6-2, 6-1. Fellow true freshman Zach White defeated Matt Walters of Arkansas in a three-set battle, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. MSU senior Antonio Lastre capped off the Bulldog victories in singles with a two-set victory against Razorback Taj Harrison, 6-1, 6-2.

State's only two losses in singles on the day both came at the hands of tough three-set defeats. MSU's James Chaudry played Arkansas' Christ Nott and dropped a three-set battle, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 and Bulldog senior Tanner Stump slipped up in a very tight match with Hall Fess of Arkansas, 7-6(9), 6-7(4), 1-0(5).

In doubles action MSU's Chaudry and White were the lone victors for the Maroon and White and reeled off an 8-5 victory over Arkansas' Lehmann and Nott. State's 53rd-ranked tandem dropped an 8-5 decision to Hogan and Walters of the Razorbacks. Bulldog duo Cant and Stropp fell in a heartbreaker to Arkansas' 56th-ranked duo, Ward and Zogaj, 9-8(5). Lastly, State's senior duo Lastre and Stump slipped up, 8-6, to Fess and Harrison of the Razorbacks.

MSU will return to action at the Auburn Invitational on Saturday and face opponents from Army. Live stats during the match and results following the match will be made available at

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