Skyhawks face tall task in clash with 24th-ranked Bulldogs

Nov 25, 2011 - 4:10 PM Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - The Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks go on the road and will try to shock the college basketball world as they take on the 24th- ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs tonight in non-conference action at Humphrey Coliseum.

UTM is 1-4 after losing to Lamar 80-69 in its most recent outing. The Skyhawks began their season with three-straight losses as they were beaten by Louisville, Ohio and Arkansas State. Jason James's squad logged its only win over Rochester College. The Skyhawks are scoring just 60.6 points per game while allowing 71.8 points per game. UTM is being outshot as it shooting 41.2 percent from the floor, while allowing opponents 46.6 percent success. Three of the team's four losses have been by lopsided margins.

Mississippi State took down ULM in its last outing to extend its winning streak to four games. The Bulldogs split their first two games of the season as they beat Eastern Kentucky before suffering their only loss of the year to Akron. Then the winning streak came as MSU beat South Alabama in non- conference action before beating Texas A&M and Arizona to win the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. Coach Rick Stansbury's team is averaging 71.3 points per game this season on 43.5 percent shooting from the floor. The Bulldogs are holding opponents to 63.2 points per game and 43.9 percent shooting from the field.

MSU and UTM will be meeting for the eighth time tonight, and the Bulldogs have won six of the first seven contests.

Mike Liabo has been a bright spot for the Skyhawks. The sophomore swingman is leading the team with 15.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. Liabo had a season-high 20 points in his last outing against Lamar. Corderio Maclin has been providing support for Liabo as of late. In his last games, Maclin is averaging 15 points per game on 11-of-15 shooting from the floor.

MSU's Arnett Moultre has been impressive in his first year with the team after transferring from Texas El-Paso. Moultre is averaging a double-double with 15.2 and 11.2 rebounds per game. Luckily for the Skyhawks, Moultre did not play against ULM and is listed as questionable for the match up with UTM. With Moultre out, expect Dee Bost and Rodney Hood to pick up the slack. Bost led the team against ULM with 21 points and five assists while Hood contributed 20 points and eight rebounds.

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