News from MSU Media Relations--Feb. 4

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

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State has enjoyed great success against LSU, winning seven out of the last 10 outings and three straight. Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the Bulldogs look to extend that streak when the two meet at 3 p.m.

The game will be televised by the SEC Network, with Lou Canellis handling the play-by-play duties and Kyle Macy serving as the analyst.

It's the 199th meeting between the two, marking the second-longest series for MSU. Mississippi State and Ole Miss have met 242 times.

"It's never easy on the road," 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "We know we're going to get LSU's best effort. We always do. They've had some struggles lately, but they are a young team that is only going to better."

The Bulldogs (11-10, 3-4) enter the contest following a 75-61 setback at Alabama on Wednesday, while the Tigers (10-12, 2-5) are looking to snap a five-game losing skid after losing to South Carolina.

For Stansbury, the game will be his 200th in SEC play.

"Right now, all I'm worried about is getting a win," he said.

The Bulldogs have lost three of their last four games but are coming off an outing at Alabama that saw four players score in double-digits.

Junior point guard Dee Bost paced his team with 18 points, seven assists and four steals, while Kodi Augustus and Renardo Sidney each added 11.

For Augustus, it's homecoming for the Baton Rouge native. Since joining Stansbury's program four years ago, he's gone 5-2 against the Tigers. Last year at the PMAC, he had six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes as the Bulldogs hit a late shot to post a 60-59 victory.

Saturday could also be a milestone day for Bost. The Concord, N.C., native needs just 12 more points to become the 33rd MSU player to score 1,000 for a career.

After Saturday, the Bulldogs return to Humphrey Coliseum on Feb. 9 to face Arkansas. Tip is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior Ravern Johnson has been suspended for the LSU game and will not travel to Baton Rouge with the team for Saturday's 3 p.m. SEC showdown against the Tigers, MSU coach Rick Stansbury announced Friday afternoon.

The suspension stems from inappropriate Tweets following the 75-61 setback at Alabama on Wednesday.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - To borrow from the unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service, neither snow nor rain nor preseason practice stays the 2011 Diamond Dogs from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Prior to a scheduled afternoon practice, the appointed rounds for members of the Mississippi State baseball team include Saturday morning stops at dozens of Starkville households delivering baseball season tickets to many of MSU's local patrons.

It's the third year for the Diamond Dogs' home delivery service, a team project implemented in 2009 by MSU head baseball coach John Cohen.

"Mississippi State baseball is blessed with incredible fan support, and this project gives our players an opportunity to go face-to-face locally with some of those fans and express to them our appreciation for all they do for us," said third-year MSU head coach John Cohen. "It's great for our players, particularly the younger players, to have a chance to connect directly with our fans away from Dudy Noble Field."

Divided into 17 two-player tandems and equipped with maps and assorted electronic guidance devices, the MSU team will fan out Saturday through Starkville neighborhoods at 9 a.m., distributing schedule cards, posters and dozens of baseball season ticket packets to local patrons. Last month the MSU Athletic Ticket Office reported that 2011 baseball season sales topped the 5,000 mark for the 10th consecutive year. With sales continuing, that total stands at 5,277 heading into the weekend. MSU baseball season tickets are available through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office (662-325-2600) and online (

Mississippi State opens its 2011 season in two weeks, hosting Akron and Lamar Feb. 18-20 in a six-game, double round-robin baseball event at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs' 35-game home schedule includes a season-opening 14-game homestand and three-game SEC series against 2010 NCAA College World Series teams Florida and South Carolina.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Playing its third scheduled match of the season, the No. 34 ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team will square off against the 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday in Atlanta, Ga.

MSU, who will be competing with its highest ranking since Feb. 28, 2006, is coming off a split weekend previously slipping up in a near-upset bid at 10th-ranked Texas A&M, but the following day the Maroon and White claimed a 7-0 victory in a default by No. 32 Arizona.

State (1-1) is 2-2 all-time against the Yellow Jackets (3-1), but 0-2 in matches played at Georgia Tech. The last time the two teams met was in 2008 when MSU dropped a 4-3 decision in Atlanta.

"We are looking forward to playing a quality opponent in Georgia Tech this weekend," Coach Per Nilsson said. "It would be a big win for this team and is a big opportunity for us to gain some momentum as we get into the bulk of our dual match schedule."

Coach Nilsson's squad is led by 60th-ranked junior Louis Cant who is riding a four-match win streak into Saturday's match. State freshman Malte Stropp will play this weekend as the Southeastern Conference's reigning Freshman of the Week and boasts a team-best nine wins this season. Stropp is also riding a current win streak himself, having won his previous four matches. Stropp and Cant also recently picked up a big win in doubles play taking down the No. 32 ranked doubles duo in the country from Texas A&M. Cant and Stropp have now won three-straight in doubles.

Other notable performances for the Bulldogs include newcomer James Chaudry who recently won his first match over a ranked opponents, taking down Texas A&M's No. 95 Colin Hoover to win his third-straight match, a streak that still stands, and junior Artem Ilyushin is a winner of five of his previous six.

Georgia Tech boasts three ranked players in singles including the No. 12 player in the country in Guillermo Gomez. Yellow Jacket Juan Spir stands at 48th nationally and Dusan Miljevic ranks 93rd. The Yellow Jackets also have the eighth ranked doubles team in the country in Kevin King and Spir.

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets will serve it up at 12 p.m. CT and live stats will be available at

Gene's Page Top Stories