News from MSU Media Relations--December 29

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

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - After nearly 2 ½ weeks away from home, Mississippi State returns to Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday, Dec. 30, to face San Diego in a game televised by Fox Sports South.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The contest will also be the first for both squads since Dec. 22, when MSU (8-4) held off Nicholls State 74-68 in Jackson, Miss., while San Diego fell to Boise State, 75-72.

It's also a game featuring two teams that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. After defeating Oregon, MSU then fell to eventual runner-up Memphis. The Toreros shocked the nation when they knocked off No. 4-seeded Connecticut before losing a heartbreaker to Western Kentucky.

The Bulldogs, who sport a 6-1 home ledger this year, are led in scoring (14.3), rebounding (9.8) and blocked shots (6.0) by junior forward Jarvis Varnado. In his last three games, the Brownsville, Tenn., native has connected on 27 of his 33 shots (81.8 percent).

San Diego (6-7) is led by Trumaine Johnson's 16-point clip.

After Tuesday, Mississippi State continues its three-game homestand with against Houston at 3 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. showdown with Western Kentucky on Jan. 5. Both games will be televised by CSS.

Women's Basketball
COLLEGE PARK, MD. - One of only eight remaining unbeaten teams nationally, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs will return to action Monday, taking on Marshall in the Terrapin Classic. Game time for the University of Maryland-hosted tournament is set for 11 a.m. CT at the Comcast Center on the UM campus.

Mississippi State (10-0) enters Monday's contest having won three consecutive road games. Since defeating Memphis at home on Dec. 14, the Lady Bulldogs have reeled off victories at Southern Miss, at Utah Valley and at Utah.

The Lady Bulldogs currently rank fourth nationally in scoring margin defeating their opponents by an average of 28.7 points this season. Overall, State ranks in the nation's top-10 in nine team statistical categories. MSU is ninth in scoring offense (78.9), seventh in scoring defense (50.2), fourth in scoring margin, fifth in field goal percentage defense (32.6), fourth in assists per game (18.5), first in blocked shots (8.0), sixth in steals per game (14.5), fifth in assists/turnover ratio (1.24) and fifth in turnover margin (9.1).

State is currently led in scoring and rebounding by junior Armelie Lumanu. The Kinshasa, Congo native is averaging 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. Junior Chanel Mokango is averaging 12.0 points a game while junior Alexis Rack is adding 11.5 a game.

Marshall comes into Monday's action with a 6-4 overall record this season. The Thundering Herd is led by Royce Chadwick who is 111-108 in his eighth season at Marshall. The Herd is led on the court by sophomore forward Tynikki Crook who is averaging 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. Junior guard Chantelle Handy is also averaging double figures, scoring 10.4 points a game and averaging 6.9 rebounds a game.

Monday's meeting will be the first ever between MSU and Marshall. Mississippi State is 2-0 this season against Conference USA opponents.

Following Monday's game, Mississippi State will play either 14th-ranked Maryland or UNC Asheville on Tuesday at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. CT.

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