Mississippi State
Jan 27, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Tolu Smith (1) shoots as Auburn Tigers guard/forward Chad Baker-Mazara (10) defends during the second half at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State Travels to Auburn to Challenge the Tigers

As the regular season winds down in SEC basketball, one more battle between the No. 11 Auburn Tigers (21-7, 10-5 SEC) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (19-9, 8-7 SEC) looms. Neville Arena in Auburn, Alabama, is the site for the matchup, and the Bulldogs look to sweep the series against the Tigers.

Looking Back

The first match between these two squads was held on Jan. 27 in Starkville, and the Bulldogs won 64-58. The Tigers were ranked No. 8 at the time, their highest ranking of the year. The Bulldogs recorded 45 rebounds while the Tigers only recorded 30.

Auburn scored 58 total points in the game, the lowest they’ve scored this year. The Tigers, who are currently the fourth highest-scoring team in the SEC, only had two players reach double-digits in scoring in Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams.

Keys To the Game

Much like last time, the Bulldogs need to find a way to force the Tigers to take poor shots. Auburn shot 33.9% from the field and 25% from 3. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were 43.9% from the field and had three players reach double-digit scoring.

Rebounding will also be a major issue in this game. The Bulldogs sit in fourth in the SEC in rebounding, while Auburn sits in sixth. However, the margin is much closer than that. Mississippi State averages 39.1 rebounds a game, and Auburn averages 38.3.

Shutting Down Johni Broome and Josh Hubbard

Broome for Auburn and Hubbard for Mississippi State are the best players on their respective rosters. Hubbard is the sole reason the Bulldogs sit in seventh in the SEC standings. He also ranks No. 10 in scoring for the SEC with 15.9 points per game.

Hubbard scored 17 points, which was the highest on the Mississippi State roster, the last time they played the Tigers. Hubbard even scored 15 of those 17 points in the second half.

As for Broome, he is the best forward in the SEC and one of the best in the country. Broome was the leading scorer for the Tigers in the last matchup with the Bulldogs, and it could be the same outcome this time. Broome ranks ninth in points per game in the SEC with 16.3, which is the highest for a forward.

Each team has three games remaining and tip-off is Saturday at 4 p.m.

About Dylan Pierce

Check Also

UConn Faces Purdue in Heavy-Weight Final

The UConn Huskies will square off with the Purdue Boilermakers in the Men’s College Basketball …