Date: Monday, November 19, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM EST
Location: Maui, Hawaii - Lahaina Civic Center (2,400)
TV: ESPN2 (Watch Online)
Announcers: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) & Jimmy Dykes (color analyst)
Announcers: Jones Angell (play-by-play), Eric Montross (color analyst) & Dave Nathan (host)
Rankings: Mississippi State: Not Ranked; North Carolina: AP - 11 USA Today - 11
Mississippi State at a glance
Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Colors: Maroon & White
Venue: Humphrey Coliseum (4,200)
2011-2012 Record: 21-12 (8-8)
2012-2013 Record: 1-1 (0-0)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Mississippi State collected its first win of the Rick Ray era with a dominating 78-58 performance against Florida Atlantic on Tuesday. Playing his first game of the year due to a concussion, Roquez Johnson scored a game-high 17 points to go along with his 5 rebounds. He was one of four MSU players to score in double-figures - Fred
Thomas (16), Craig Sword (11) and Gavin Ware (10). MSU hit 30 of its 61 shots from the floor and grabbed 40 rebounds. In addition, Trivante Bloodman dished out a game-high 7 assists as the Bulldogs totaled 16 on the night. Defensively, Mississippi State held the Owls to 21-of-63 shooting, while
forcing 27 turnovers and collecting 17 steals.
NORTH CAROLINA: In its last outing, Carolina won at Long Beach State 78-63 on Friday night, hitting seven second half three-pointers and pulling away after leading the 49ers by one point at halftime. After Long Beach State led 43-42 with 15:44 left in the game, the Tar Heels went on a 22-5 run over a span of 5:48 to seize control of the game. The Tar Heels had combined to hit just seven three-pointers in 27 attempts in their first two games of the season against Gardner-Webb and Florida Atlantic but hit 7 of 13 in the final 20 minutes against
the 49ers. UNC finished with 10 three-pointers in 26 attempts in the game. Marcus Paige (3 for 6), Reggie
Bullock (3 for 9) and P.J. Hairston (3 for 7) each hit three treys in the win, and Leslie McDonald (1 for 3) also connected from long range.
Mississippi State-North Carolina Series
Carolina leads the all-time series with
Mississippi State, 5-0. Four seasons ago, the Tar Heels beat the Bulldogs 76-74 in the second round of the 2010 NIT in Starkville, Miss. Monday's game will be the second meeting between the two former Southern Conference members since Dec. 18, 1964. That game in '64, a 84-80 Carolina win, came in the Virginia Tech Tournament in Blacksburg, Va. Roy Williams is 1-0 as a head coach against Mississippi State, only facing the Bulldogs in the 2010 NIT. Mississippi State is coached by former Clemson assistant Rick Ray, in his first season as a head coach after serving as an assistant to Brad Brownell at Clemson in 2010-11.
Mississippi State-North Carolina Notes
MSU: Entering Monday's game against North Carolina, the Bulldogs are 30-
42 against the 12 teams that currently comprise the Atlantic Coast Conference. Mississippi State has played 11 of the members, with Boston College being the only team it hasn't faced. The last time MSU faced an ACC foewas Virginia Tech in December of 2010 at the Battle of Atlantis, a game
the Hokies won, 88-57. The team MSU has played the most is Georgia Tech, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 16-13 advantage.
MSU: Through two games, Mississippi State's defense has proven to be one
of the best in the SEC. Currently, MSU is third in the league in points allowed (57.0), fifth in field goal percentage defense (34.7), second in steals (11.0) and second
in turnovers forced (19.5). Fred Thomas is also fourth in the league in steals at 3.0 an outing, while Colin Borchert is tied for fifth in blocked shots at 2.0
MSU: Against Florida Atlantic on Tuesday, Mississippi State turned in one of its finest defensive performances in years. The Bulldogs forced 27 turnovers, the most
since Loyola-New Orleans had 32 in December
of 1996. They also collected 17 steals, the most since having 20 in November of 2001 against Nicholls State.
MSU: With his 4-of-4 performance at the free throw line at Troy, junior guard Jalen Steele has now made 23-straight free throws dating back to last season. His last miss came with 5:13 to play against Northwestern State on Dec. 22, 2011, in Jackson.
MSU: The Bulldogs opened the regular season at Troy with a roster that featured seven new players. Only five players return from last year's squad that posted 21 wins, a total that includes walk-ons Baxter Price and Tyson Cunningham. The other three returnees are Wendell Lewis, Roquez Johnson and Jalen Steele. Of the seven newcomers this season, five are freshmen.
UNC: Carolina is 13-2 all-time in the Maui Invitational, winning the tournament in the 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2008-09 seasons and reaching the finals in 1989-90 and 1995-96. The Tar Heels have reached the championship game in all five of their previous appearances in the event.
UNC: The winner between MSU and UNC will advance to face the winner of Monday's game between Butler and Marquette on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. in Hawaii). The losers of Monday's games will play in the consolation bracket on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (9:30 a.m. in Hawaii).
UNC: After the three games in Maui this week, the Tar Heel traveling party will fly home on Thursday night and arrive back in North Carolina on Friday afternoon. The Tar Heels' next game after the Maui Invitational will come on Tuesday Nov. 27 at top-ranked
Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Team notes courtesy of the ACC, Mississippi State and UNC Athletic Communications