December 31, 2017 / 12:25 AM / 2 months ago

Preview: North Florida at Mississippi State

Mississippi State has rolled through the non-conference schedule and looks to continue that trend with one more game against visiting North Florida on Saturday. The Bulldogs have opened the season with 11 wins in 12 games.

While Mississippi State utilizes a balanced attack on offense with four players averaging double digits in scoring and produces 75.5 points per game overall, it’s at the other end of the court that the Bulldogs have found the most success. Mississippi State allows just 61.1 points per game defensively, which leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally entering Friday. The Bulldogs have held nine of 12 opponents this season below 39 percent field goal shooting and are 14th in the country, allowing 37.9 percent from the floor. Mississippi State has held the past eight opponents to under 66 points.

TV: 5 p.m. ET, SEC Network Plus

ABOUT NORTH FLORIDA (5-10): The Ospreys live and die with their success beyond the 3-point line this season. North Florida has made 10 or more 3-point shots in a game nine times on the season, including a school record-tying 20 on Nov. 21 in a 101-77 victory against Edward Waters College. The Ospreys average 29.3 attempts per game from behind the 3-point line, converting 38 percent on the season.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (11-1): All-SEC junior Quinndary Weatherspoon has taken his game to the next level this season as the point guard for the Bulldogs. In 12 games this season, Weatherspoon has dished out 54 assists to surpass his total of 53 last season in 29 games. He is averaging a team-high 13.9 points while adding 6.0 rebounds, a team-best 4.5 assists and shooting 51.8 percent from the floor.

TIP-INS

1. Mississippi State F Abdul Ado has recorded 26 blocks on the season, already the eighth highest total for a freshman in school history.

2. North Florida is 0-21 all-time against SEC teams, including 0-3 this season after losses to Florida, Missouri and LSU.

3. The Bulldogs hold a record of 9-1 this season and 18-4 overall when junior F Aric Holman scores in double digits.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State 92, North Florida 74

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