MISSISSIPPI STATE ATHLETICS- The Mississippi State men’s basketball program learned that its road trip to Texas Tech for the 2022 Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, January 29th will tipoff at 5 p.m. CT from the United Supermarkets Arena announced Wednesday by both conference offices.
The matchup will be televised by ESPN2 and available online courtesy of www.WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
The ninth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge will feature 10 games televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU during the last Saturday of January for the seventh consecutive season.
The SEC holds a 25-24 advantage over the last five seasons on the strength of winning the challenge in 2017-18 and 2020-21. The two conferences posted a pair of 5-5 draws during the 2016-17 and 2019-20 seasons.
The Bulldogs provided the challenge clinching victory, a 95-56 rout of Iowa State, last season. Iverson Molinar racked up a game-leading 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, followed by Tolu Smith’s 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Derek Fountain provided a then season’s best seven points off the bench.
Texas Tech has won both previous meetings over the Bulldogs by a combined six points. The latest was a 74-72 decision on November 20, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico during Ben Howland’s first season. The Red Raiders have averaged 23.5 wins over the last four seasons, headed by three NCAA Tournaments appearances and were the 2019 NCAA Runner-Up.
The Mississippi State Athletic Ticket Office is selling 2021-22 season tickets. New season ticket purchasers can call (662) 325-2600, (888) Go Dawgs (888-463-2947) or visit www.HailState.com for more information.
Mississippi State has landed a quartet of impact transfers in Garrison Brooks (North Carolina), D.J. Jeffries (Memphis), Rocket Watts (Michigan State) and Shakeel Moore (North Carolina State), coupled with a solid freshmen class which features ESPN top 100 recruit KeShawn Murphy, Alden Applewhite and Cam Carter.
The Bulldogs also return two of their top three scorers in Iverson Molinar and Tolu Smith from 2020-21. Molinar ranked among the SEC’s top 10 in points per game (16.7 – 4th), field goal percentage (47.8 – 5th) and 20-plus point games (8 – T-7th), while Smith was the SEC leader in rebounds per game (8.5) and double-doubles (8) last season.
Mississippi State captured a runner-up finish at the 2021 NIT as the Bulldogs earned a bid in postseason play for the third consecutive time when postseason tournament have been played. State won seven of its last 10 games, highlighted by a combined five NCAA NET Quad 1 and Quad 2 victories down the stretch.