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November 4, 2011

Pikeville preview

After rolling past Florida Tech to open exhibition play last weekend, Mississippi State finds itself back on the court Friday against Pikeville in the final exhibition game of the season.

Tip at Humphrey Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be video streamed live on Maroon to the Max, with Jim Ellis providing play-by-play and Bart Gregory serving as the color commentator.

The Bears, who are 1-0 on the year after beating Union College, are the defending NAIA national champions and are currently ranked No. 1 in the country.

"It's going to be a good test for us," 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "It's a program with a lot of tradition, and anytime you play a team that's won a national championship at any level, they are obviously going to be very talented."

The Bulldogs, who open the regular season at 7 p.m. on Monday against Eastern Kentucky in the opening round of the 2K Classic, are coming off a 97-63 win against Florida Tech.

In that outing, MSU had three players record double-doubles - Arnett Moultrie (19 points, 11 rebounds), Wendell Lewis (14, 11) and Renardo Sidney (11, 11) - while senior guard Brian Bryant scored a game-high 21 points. The Bulldogs led just 40-33 at the break, but pulled comfortably ahead in the final 20 minutes thanks to a 56.1 percent shooting effort in the second half.

While Friday marks the second regular-season game of the year for the Bears, it's their third exhibition game. In October, they dropped 103-82 decision to the Big Blue All-Stars, a team comprised mainly of former Kentucky players. Then last week, they loss at No. 8 Louisville, 74-55, behind a 12-point effort from Chris McHenry.


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