Letting the Dawgs get hot: Mississippi State handles Missouri 63-52 for a 3rd win in a row

It’s been a bumpy road for the Mississippi State Basketball program as the Bulldogs have struggled to find their identity within the Southeastern Conference. However, over the last two weeks, Mississippi State has rallied three wins over TCU, South Carolina, and Missouri. Mississippi State will likely be playing on Thursday in the SEC Tournament. I guarantee you that if you’re one of the top four teams in the Southeastern Conference on Friday, you would hate to see the Bulldogs staring you down with an NCAA Tournament on the line. Mississippi State is one of those teams that have the talent to beat you, and they have just begun to peak at the right time.

Give credit to the Head Coach of Mississippi State, Chris Jans, for staying patient with his team and instilling in them the importance of playing for the Maroon and White. It all started last Saturday as the Bulldogs welcomed the 11th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs to the Hump. Mississippi State came out and physically dominated the Horned Frogs before pulling away in OT to defeat them 81-74. In that game, Mississippi State flexed and found its swagger once again.

Mississippi State took that swagger on the road into Columbia, South Carolina, where the Bulldogs didn’t let their foot off the throttle and destroyed the Gamecocks 66-51. Mississippi State had three guys score in double-digits, with Shakeel Moore leading the way with 22. It was the type of win over South Carolina that Mississippi State needed to provide the Bulldogs with the confidence they needed to carry into Saturday’s game with Missouri.

On Saturday at the Hump, it was the Tolu Smith show as he led the way for Mississippi State over Missouri with 25 points. DJ Jeffries and Cameron Matthews had ten each, combining for twenty more Mississippi State points. Mississippi State went to their defensive ways on Saturday night, holding Missouri to 52 points on 32% from the field.

Some lingering questions remain for Mississippi State, with the lack of offensive production leading the way. Mississippi State against TCU showed signs of life with 81 points, but a lack of consistency has Mississippi State fans worrying about the team ceiling this season. However, they have let the Bulldogs get hot by winning three in a row, and now you have to wonder just how far Mississippi State will go. Personally speaking, Mississippi State has the talent on the roster to make a run at the NCAA Tournament. Will they put it together and make said run? We’ll see. But don’t let the Mississippi State Bulldogs get hot this month, or we might see a surprise team in Nashville competing for an SEC Tournament Championship. Potential is there for the run. If you’re Mississippi State, your focus must continue to be finding an identity and playing for the Maroon and White. You do that, and good things will come to those in Starkville, Mississippi, as we inch closer to the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

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