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Iowa State Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Mississippi State

It’s time for the Big12/SEC Challenge

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State The Register-USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Time Out

Iowa State was shorthanded due to health protocols and it showed. The Cyclones we're able to hang around early but Oklahoma State without Cade Cunningham took over and eventually put away Iowa State 81-60. The Cyclones shot 34.5% from and 31% from deep, and Rasir Bolton led the way for Iowa State with 19 points.

About Mississippi State

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Bulldogs are averaging 71 points on 45 percent shooting and allowing 66 points on the defensive end of the floor. This Bulldogs team is middle of the road in both offensive and defensive efficiency, ranking 74th and 97th respectively.

This is not a team that will turn over Iowa State a ton, which always seems to be a talking point for us this season. Offensively, Iowa State should have some opportunities to find open shots. If they can knock them down with any sort of consistency, the Cyclones could have a shot, but a poor shooting performance will almost certainly guarantee a loss.

This is the third-ever meeting against Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs winning the first two in 1978 and 1979.

Player To Watch

D.J. Stewart, a sophomore guard, is the leading scorer for the Bulldogs. He is averaging 16.6 points per game while shooting 44% from the floor. His highest scoring output this season was 32 points against Dayton in December. Look for Stewart to be the primary option today for the Bulldogs.

What Will Happen

We’re still unsure if Iowa State will have reinforcements today coming off COVID protocols. If they don’t, I see the Cyclones continuing to struggle in this one, especially on the road. This season has already been an uphill battle, and doing it shorthanded won’t help anything. Mississippi State is an average team in terms of statistics, but they are much more battle-tested and contended with the upper-level teams in the SEC week in and week out. I just don’t think Iowa State will have the guns to steal one on the road.

Mississippi State - 78

Iowa State - 60

Game Notes

The Matchup: Iowa State (2-8, 0-6 Big 12) vs. Mississippi State (9-8, 4-5 SEC)

Where: Starkville, Miss. - Humphrey Coliseum

When: Saturday, Jan. 30, 5 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn RadioTalent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)

TV: ESPN2Talent: Beth Mowins (PxP), TBA (Analyst)

Webcast: WatchESPN

Live Stats: