Missouri men's basketball to host Mississippi State

Texas A&M’s Tyrece Radford (23) heads to the basket as Missouri’s Tamar Bates defends during Wednesday night’s game at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Associated Press)
Texas A&M’s Tyrece Radford (23) heads to the basket as Missouri’s Tamar Bates defends during Wednesday night’s game at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Associated Press)

The Missouri Tigers are set to try again.

The Tigers (8-15, 0-10 Southeastern Conference), who have dropped their last 10 games and 13 of their past 14, will have another opportunity to stop the slide at 7:30 p.m. today (SEC Network) when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-8, 4-6) at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers will honor the Elite Eight Tiger teams of 1994 and 2009, looking to bring some of that success with the return of the older squads.

This year’s Tigers enter the matchup following a 79-60 loss to Texas A&M.

Without their leading scorer -- graduate guard Sean East averaging 15.6 points and a team-high 4.1 assists per contest -- who missed Wednesday’s loss with a knee contusion, junior guard Tamar Bates led the Tigers with 20 points.

Bates has raised his season average to 14.2 points per game after a run of 13 consecutive games with more than 10 points. It was the fifth time in the stretch Bates has scored at least 20.

The junior is averaging 19.8 points per game in conference play, the second highest mark for a Missouri player since the Tigers joined the SEC. Bates has also made 37 consecutive attempts from the free-throw line, leaving him two makes from the school record.

Graduate guard Nick Honor scored a season-high 19 points in Thursday’s loss after leading the team in field-goal attempts with a season-high 16 tries. Honor raised his season average to 10.7 points per game, while graduate forward Noah Carter scored 11 points Thursday to bring his average to 12.9 to go with a team-high 5.1 rebounds per contest.

Missouri scores 72.9 points per game, but has scored 70 or more only three times in SEC play, and allows 74.3.

Mississippi State enters the game having bounced back from consecutive losses by beating Georgia 75-62 on Wednesday.

Graduate forward Tolu Smith III (6-foot-11) led the Bulldogs with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Georgia, while freshman guard Josh Hubbard (5-10) added 14 points, senior guard Shakeel Moore (6-1) scored 11 and sophomore forward KeShawn Murphy (6-10) added 10 off the bench.

Smith leads the team with 17.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while Hubbard scores 14.8 points per contest. Graduate guard Deshawn Davis (6-2) dishes out a team-high 3.17 assists per game.

Mississippi State leads the all-time series 13-6, but Missouri won the most recent matchup 66-64 in overtime last season when Honor hit a game-winning 3 with :07.6 left in the extra period. Last year’s Tiger win ended a seven-game Bulldog winning streak in the series.