January 19, 2011

Bulldogs brace for tough stretch

Mississippi State has been able to rebound from a lopsided conference opening loss to Alabama with back-to-back wins over Ole Miss and Auburn last week.

The Bulldogs now face a tough three game stretch against some of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference this season starting with a road matchup with Georgia on Saturday.

"Naturally you'd like a little different stretch than that with this team right now just because of where we're at," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "You wish you could have a couple of exhibition games and four or five guaranteed games at home but unfortunately that's not where we're at this part of the season. We've got SEC teams that we've got to compete against no doubt three of the best from the East at Georgia and then Vanderbilt and Florida at home."

Georgia is 2-2 in league play following Tuesday night's 59-57 last second loss to Tennessee. The SEC's other Bulldogs have already knocked off Kentucky and Ole Miss while also losing to Vanderbilt in between.

"It's very obvious that we are going to play if not the best but one of the top two teams in that East now for sure," Stansbury said. "I think Georgia is playing as well as anybody and have got good chemistry and really good players. They may have the best playing the league in (Trey) Thompkins. It will be a challenge for us and we're just trying to find ways to get better every day."

Thompkins is one of the premier players in the conference averaging 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-9, 247-pounder will be a stiff challenge for Renardo Sidney in only his sixth career game.

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