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Loyola-Chicago (3-4) at Mississippi State (4-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 1 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Humphrey Coliseum (10,500) -- Starkville, Mississippi. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 2-0, MSU 4-0. Away Record: Loyola 0-3, MSU 0-1. Neutral Record: Loyola 1-1, MSU 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: It's been more than half a century since Loyola-Chicago and Mississippi State have met in a men's basketball game, that one in East Lansing, Michigan back in 1963 having historic significance. The teams will rekindle the relationship on Sunday afternoon in Starkville.

After being denied the chance to participate in the NCAA Tournament several times due to the possibility of playing against integrated teams, Mississippi State defied a state ruling and left town to take on Loyola. The Ramblers won the game, 61-51, en route to winning the national championship, but the importance of MSU's decision would be felt for years to come.

With regard to this season, Loyola bring a 3-4 record into this meeting, while Mississippi State sits at 4-1.

The Ramblers recently snapped a two-game losing streak by taking down SIU- Edwardsville to close out their stay at the Portland State Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are coming off a 58-56 win over Jackson State, which came on the heels of the team's lone loss of the season -- 87-68 at Utah State.

Loyola leads the all-time series, 2-0.

The Ramblers are averaging nearly the same number of points as they allow (69.1 ppg to 68.4 ppg), and they boast three double-digit scorers. Christian Thomas (14.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Jeff White (13.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Milton Doyle (13.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 apg) have all been productive, and the team as a whole is shooting 47.9 percent from the field, which includes a 34.5 percent showing from 3-point range. Defensively, Loyola allows shooting percentages of .461 overall and .369 from long distance, while goading the opposition into nearly 14 turnovers per outing.

Mississippi State's Gavin Ware is averaging a double-double consisting of 14.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, as he leads a team that lights up the scoreboard for 73.8 ppg in dropping 46.3 percent of its total shots, 33.3 percent of its long-range launches. Colin Borchert (11.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and Craig Sword (10.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 apg) round out the unit's double-digit scorers. In addition to their +8.6 scoring margin, the Bulldogs own positive differentials in rebounding (+4.2) and turnovers (+3.4).

Without taking away from the emotion surrounding this meeting, with regard to the action on the court, expect the more athletic Bulldogs put another tally in the win column.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Mississippi State 71, Loyola-Chicago 63

12/01 10:37:17 ET

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