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Bulldogs, Texas A&M Meet At Madison Square Garden


NEW YORK CITY – Playing for the first time away from the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum, Mississippi State battles No. 19 Texas A&M on Thursday in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic.
Tip at Madison Square Garden is set for 6 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on ESPN2, with Dan Schulman and Len Elmore handling the broadcast.
The Bulldogs, who are 2-1 following Saturday’s 80-65 win against South Alabama, are making their fifth appearance at the Garden, where they are 2-2 all-time. In their last outing, they dropped a 63-62 decision to West Virginia on a last-second shot in the semifinals of the 2007 NIT.
“Obviously, we are facing a great team in Texas A&M, who was picked to win their conference (Big 12),” 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. “They have a lot of experienced players back from a year ago, and we will have to play at our very best. We’re playing at Madison Square Garden, and our players are excited about that opportunity. They understand the history of the building and what it means to play there.”
Thursday marks the third meeting between the two programs, with the series tied at 1-apiece. The last time the two played was in December of 1966, with the Bulldogs claiming a 62-49 victory at the USM Invitational in Hattiesburg.
The Aggies, who are 2-0 on the year, are coached by Billy Kennedy, who is 0-5 against the Bulldogs with stops at Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State. In fact, his first game as a head coach was against Mississippi State when he was at Centenary, a game MSU won, 64-40.
“These are the type of games you practice hard and work hard for,” senior guard Dee Bost said. “We feel like we have a lot to prove.”
The Bulldogs enter the game led in scoring by Bost’s 17.3 clip. Junior forward Arnett Moultrie is averaging 16.3 points and 12.7 rebounds and has recorded two double-doubles. Also in double-digit scoring for MSU are Rodney Hood and Renardo Sidney at 12.3 and 10.5 points, respectively.
Texas A&M is led in scoring by junior forward Ray Turner at 20.0 points, followed by junior guard Elston Turner at 13.5 and senior forward David Loubeau at 12.5.



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