STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Starkville will be the host of the 263rd edition of the Ole Miss-Mississippi State men’s basketball rivalry series.
Last year’s meetings were completely one-sided, as the home team won each match-up by 25 points. Ole Miss brings an aggressive defense heading into Tuesday, forcing almost 18 turnovers per game, a mark that’s good for top-20 in the entire country. The Bulldogs, on the other end, generally take pretty good care of the ball, and lead the conference in three point shooting percentage. Entering an even match-up, both teams feel a sense of urgency in the middle of the conference slate.
“They do a great job on their 1-3-1. Force a lot of turnovers,” Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland said. “That’s something Kermit has always done with his teams, whether it be Middle Tennessee or Ole Miss. It’s obviously a rivalry game, but it’s also our last home game for a while. We have four road games coming up, so this is a critical game.”
“We have to stay together,” Ole Miss guard Jarkel Joiner said. “We know what type of team we have, we know what type of players the coaching staff recruited. We just have to keep keepin’ on. I know it’s cliché, but we just have to keep working, keep our head down and keep working. It’s going to come.”