Mississippi State takes on Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday from Norman. The Bulldogs have won three straight after losing three straight. The Sooners lost three of their last four games, including a 61-57 defeat at No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 20.
Nice homestand for BulldogsMississippi State is having a mediocre season in the SEC (3-3) and a solid season overall. They may have turned things around after a 3-0 homestand. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs beat Arkansas 77-70, despite shooting just 39% from the field. Reggie Perry (16.9ppg, 10.3rpg) led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds on 14-of-15 from the line. The key was rebounding as they outrebounded the Razorbacks 41-31. Mississippi State leads the SEC in rebounding margin (+8.2) and they took advantage of the worst rebounding team in the league.
According to KenPom, Mississippi State is ranked 41st, 19th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 83rd in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Bulldogs average 73.3 points per game on 46.3% shooting and 32.9% from beyond the arc. They allow 64.9 points on 41.4% shooting (30.6% 3pt). Tyson Carter is the second leading scorer with 13.6 points per game on 35.8% shooting (31.2% 3pt).
Tough loss but solid performanceOklahoma found themselves down by 11 at the half to Baylor on Jan. 20, who had won 14 straight games. But they pulled within two at 59-57 on three-pointers from Brady Manek and Austin Reaves. After a steal, Reaves had a chance to win the game, but missed a three-pointer in the corner with six seconds left. Manek led the Sooners with 21 points after scoring a career-high 31 two days earlier against TCU (83-63 win). Oklahoma shot 35% from the field, but they were outrebounded by nine.
“I was proud of our guys for fighting and scratching and hanging in there,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said after the game. “I can’t say we had anything drawn up, it was a steal and it’s a break.”
Oklahoma averages 72.3 points per game on 42.4% shooting (32.6% 3pt). Kristian Doolittle (6-7, 232) leads the Sooners with 15.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on 44.2% shooting (40.5% 3pt). Manek (6-9, 231) adds 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds on 46.8% shooting (43.9% 3pt).
In terms of defense, KenPom has the Sooners at 57 in adjusted defensive efficiency. They tend to struggle on the boards (-1.7) but they hold teams to just 39.9% shooting.