No. 21 MSU Battles West Virginia

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Riding the momentum of a six-game winning streak, No. 21 Mississippi State hosts West Virginia in the Big East/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised by ESPNU with Clay Matvick and Kara Lawson handling the broadcast duties. Also, the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative vanity license plate honoring 100 years of MSU basketball.

Saturday marks the second meeting between the two schools, with WVU claiming a 63-62 victory on a last-second shot at the 2007 NIT semifinals in New York. The Mountaineers are also the first Big East team to ever visit the Hump.

"This is going to be a heck of a challenge," said 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose 279 career victories rank 9th best in SEC history. "Hey, West Virginia is a really good basketball team. We're making steady improvement but this is a big basketball game for early in the year. It's a great opportunity for us. It's two teams who are evenly balanced in a lot of areas."

Mississippi State is 7-1 following Sunday's 82-59 victory against North Texas. In that outing, junior forward Arnett Moultrie returned from injury to lead Mississippi State with 20 points and nine rebounds. On the year, he has three double-doubles.

"This is a big game for us at home," said Moultrie, who leads the SEC in rebounding at 10.8 boards an outing. "It will be a big test for us. We've just got to play our game."

The Mountaineers travel to Starkville with a 4-1 record following a 77-56 victory against Akron Monday night. Senior Mountaineer Kevin Jones is averaging a double-double on the season with 21.0 points and 12.2 rebounds a contest.

After Saturday, Mississippi State is off until Dec. 10 when its host Troy at 3 p.m. Tickets will be sold for $10.


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