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MSU men target 5-0 start

 

From Special Reports

 

STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men''s basketball team will try to extend its season-opening winning streak to five at 7 tonight when it plays host to Florida Atlantic at Humphrey Coliseum. 

 

Tickets are available and can be purchased at a special price of $5. 

 

The last time the Bulldogs started a season 5-0 was 2008-09. 

 

If MSU wins, it would mark the fifth time with Rick Stansbury at the helm the team has started 5-0. 

 

"Florida Atlantic is a good team," Stansbury said. "They played at Florida last week and had chances to win. We need to come out more focused than we did the last time, mentally and physically." 

 

The Bulldogs collected their fourth win Friday in a come-from-behind 93-83 overtime victory against Troy. 

 

With less than 10 minutes to play, the Trojans led 63-52, but senior standout guard Ravern Johnson (career-best 33 points) hit seven 3-pointers to lead the charge back. It was the second time this season the Lyon native eclipsed the 30-point mark. He leads the league and is fifth nationally at 27.3 points per game. 

 

Brian Bryant (15 points), Riley Benock (12), Kodi Augustus (11), and Jalen Steele (10) also scored in double figures. Augustus also had 11 rebounds to give him his third double-double of the season, which ties him with Kentucky''s Terrance Jones for the most in the SEC. 

 

"I realize most of the scoring load is put on me," Johnson said. "That is something I am glad to accept. We just have to keep getting better at the little things, and keep improving as a team." 

 

The Bulldogs also overcame a nine-point deficit in the second half against Appalachian State, a trend Benock said doesn''t need to become a constant theme. 

 

"That is something we don''t want to get used to doing," he said. 

 

The Owls (3-4) will try to snap a three-game losing skid. They are led in scoring by Greg Gantt and Dennis Mavin at 16.0 and 11.4 points, respectively. 

 

It will be the first meeting between the schools. 

 

After Tuesday, MSU doesn''t play again until Dec. 11, the start of five games in five days before the team heads to the Bahamas to begin a five-game road swing that include stops in Hawaii and Las Vegas.

 

 

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