News from MSU Media Relations--December 18

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Playing their second home game in three days in the midst of a busy pre-Christmas week of action, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State (7-2) play host to Alabama State (2-6) Monday evening on the MSU campus. The first-ever hardwood meeting between the two schools is set for a 7 p.m. CT tip-off at MSU's Humphrey Coliseum, and the contest is slated to be televised live by SportSouth.

Bernie Guenther is set to call the play-by-play action and former Auburn standout Daymeon Fishback is slated to provide the color analysis for Monday's MSU-ASU contest for SportSouth. The contest is also scheduled to air on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 107.

Coach Rick Stansbury's 7-2 Bulldogs presently own a five-game winning streak after claiming an 89-63 home triumph over McNeese State this past Saturday afternoon. The McNeese contest marked the fourth straight outing in which Mississippi State has not trailed in a game, including the team's recent double-digit victories over Miami of Florida (70-52), South Alabama (84-46) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (96-72). State's average victory margin over the last four games has been 26.5 points per win.

With a half-dozen players averaging at least 7.6 points per game on the year, the Bulldogs continue to be powered by sophomore all-SEC guard/forward Jamont Gordon's team-leading scoring (15.7 ppg), rebounding (8.2 rpg) and assist (5.0 apg) averages. Freshman guard Barry Stewart and junior all-SEC forward Charles Rhodes follow at 12.7 and 10.1 points per outing, respectively. Most recently in Mississippi State's 26-point home win over McNeese State this past Saturday, sophomore swingman Richard Delk established a new career high for the second game in a row with a game-best 16 points against the Cowboys. Against McNeese, the Bulldogs matched a season high with a dozen made 3-pointers, while also setting new single-game season superlatives with 22 assists and 10 blocked shots against the Cowboys.

Picked in the preseason to finish sixth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference race, the Hornets of Alabama State, by way of Montgomery, are 2-6 on the year after dropping a 64-56 home decision to Georgia State this past Saturday. Guided by second-year head coach Lewis Jackson, ASU owns home wins over Tuskegee (80-77) and Troy (63-56) this season. Averaging but 56.4 points per game as a team on only 34 percent collective shooting for the year, the Hornets are paced by preseason second-team all-SWAC performer Andrew Hayles (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg & 24 made treys). Former Auburn transfer Moses Edun is averaging 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per outing for Alabama State. ASU is expected to get a boost this week with the recent additions of 6-foot-10 junior center Miguel Morton (academic ineligibility) and 6-foot-6 freshman forward Tremayne Moorer (transfer), who are both slated to make their season debut Monday night in Starkville.

Having now prevailed in 20 consecutive December home contests dating back to the 2000-01 campaign, the Bulldogs own a 27-1 composite record in December home games during the Stansbury era (since 1998-99). In addition, MSU is now 100-23 (.813) at Humphrey Coliseum since Stansbury took over the Bulldog helm in 1998.

The Bulldogs will play their third game in six days prior to the Christmas holiday by taking on the University of New Orleans Privateers Thursday at Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum in an MSU-UNO men's/women's basketball doubleheader. The 4:30 p.m. CT women's game will be followed at 7 p.m. CT by the men's contest.


Football
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Four Mississippi State football players have been awarded all-Southeastern Conference honors by Scout.com, the national web site announced Friday.

Mississippi State senior inside linebacker Quinton Culberson (Jackson, Miss.), sophomore defensive back Derek Pegues (Batesville, Miss.), senior defensive tackle Deljuan Robinson (Hernando, Miss.) and junior defensive end Titus Brown (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) were selected to Scout.com s all-SEC squad.

Culberson earned first-team, all-SEC recognition, while Pegues, Robinson and Brown were selected to the second team. Pegues was chosen as a return specialist.

Culberson, a 6-0, 239-pounder, started all 12 games during the 2006 season and led the Bulldogs with 102 tackles, including nine for loss (minus 27 yards), one of which was a quarterback sack (minus 9 yards). He intercepted two passes for 51 yards, returning one for a touchdown. He was also credited with six pass deflections, a forced fumble and a recovery. Culberson was also named first-team, all-SEC by both the Associated Press and the league s coaches.

Pegues, a 5-10, 192-pounder, started all 12 games at cornerback for the Bulldogs. He led MSU in both kickoff (23.7 yards) and punt (14.0 yards) returns, ranking fifth and second, respectively, in the league in his two specialties. Pegues earned second-team, all-SEC accolades at defensive back by the conference coaches.

Robinson, a 6-4, 296-pounder, started eight games during an injury-plagued senior season, but still managed 34 tackles on the year. His 12.5 tackles for loss (minus 45 yards) were fifth-best in the Southeastern Conference. He earned second-team, all-SEC recognition from the sportswriters who cover the SEC as well.

Brown, a 6-3, 247-pounder, started 11 games in 2006 and made 38 tackles. His 14.5 tackles for loss (minus 75 yards) and seven and one-half quarterback sacks (minus 54 yards) were both team highs. He ranked fourth in the SEC in tackles for loss and fifth in the league in sacks. Brown, who was also named second-team, all-league by both AP and the league s coaches, had tackles for loss in nine of his 12 games played, and sacks in seven contests.


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