14th-Ranked Bulldogs Face Utah State Saturday

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Coming off a draining 54-52 setback to Baylor on Wednesday in Dallas that ended an 11-game winning streak, No. 14 Mississippi State returns to the court on Saturday to close out the non-conference slate against Utah State.

Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 2 p.m., and tickets can be purchased for $5.

"I would've like to have won the game, but I'm not frustrated because we didn't win, because I know our guys played extremely hard," said 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team is 12-2. "Missing shots, turning the ball over; that's part of the game some. Those are things you can get better at, and we know we have things to get better at in those areas."

With the Baylor game in the past, MSU faces an Aggies squad that's 8-5 and playing for the first time since beating Kent State 81-62 on Dec. 22. Overall, USU has won a season-best four-straight games.

The key to their recent success has been the play of Preston Medlin and Brockeith Pane, who are averaging 14.3 and 11.2 points, respectively. The talented duo have also accounted for 91 assists.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

"They've been playing very well lately, and we'll have to be at our best," Stansbury said.

Saturday's game is likely to be historical, too.

After dishing out five assists in the 54-52 loss to Baylor, senior All-SEC guard Dee Bost is just three assists shy of breaking the school record of 514 set by Derrick Zimmerman from 2000-03.

On the year, Bost is averaging 4.4 assists, the fourth-most in the SEC. He's also made an assist in 88-consecutive games and in 102 of the 103 games he's played – all of which he started.

"It's a record that means a lot to me," the Concord, N.C., native said. "It's something I've wanted to accomplish since I've been here. But more than anything, we need a win."

Bost is also scoring 16.6 points an outing, the second most on the team and fifth most in the SEC. Junior forward Arnett Moultrie is fourth in the league with his 16.9 clip, while his 11.5 rebounds are tops, as are his field goal percentage (56.1) and seven double-doubles.

After Saturday, the Bulldogs are off for a week before opening SEC play at Arkansas on Jan. 7 in an 8 p.m. showdown on CSS.


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