STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In their final preseason tune-up, the Mississippi State Bulldogs play host to the Birmingham Bullets of England in exhibition basketball action Saturday night on the MSU campus. Tip-off at Humphrey Coliseum is set for 7 p.m., and there will be no charge for admission.

Coach Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs opened 2001-02 preseason competition last Saturday night by posting a 110-89 exhibition home victory over the Branch West Basketball Academy of California. A week ago, junior forward Michal Ignerski paced a half-dozen Bulldog scorers in double figures with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. A third-team junior college all-American last year at Eastern Oklahoma State College, the Lublin, Poland, native also collected eight rebounds in 20 minutes of action against BWBA. Junior Derrick Zimmerman and sophomore Mario Austin tallied 14 points apiece in last week's preseason opener, while senior Marckell Patterson added 13 points and seven boards for the winners.

As a team last Saturday, the Bulldogs shot 47 percent from the field against BWBA of California, including 11-of-27 (41%) accuracy from beyond the three-point arc. Along with owning a decisive 55-32 rebounding advantage last week, MSU had 11 different players contribute to the team's balanced scoring attack. Freshmen Marcus Campbell and Winsome Frazier rounded out the Bulldogs' double-digit scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively, versus BWBA.

Comprised of some local British players and a handful of former collegiate players from the United States, the Birmingham Bullets of England brought a 1-4 record into their Friday night exhibition contest at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. After opening their current seven-game, 10-day exhibition tour with losses to Florida (108-85 on Nov. 1) and Central Florida (103-101 on Nov. 2), the Birmingham Bullets claimed an 80-62 win over Alabama State this past Sunday. Most recently, the Bullets dropped decisions at Alabama A&M (85-77) and Western Kentucky (86-80) this past Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

Mississippi State opens the 2001-02 regular season with a three-game homestand, beginning next Saturday (Nov. 17) with a 7 p.m. contest against Nicholls State University of the Southland Conference. The Bulldogs will also play host to Florida A&M and Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 19 and 21, respectively, before playing at Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Nov. 24.

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