State's Big Three get ready for big showdowns
From staff reports
Feb. 28, 2001
Mississippi's Big Three basketball teams all face big tests tonight in the world of college hoops, and none of the games are any bigger than the one at LSU.
That's where Ole Miss is trying to wrap up its third Southeastern Conference West Division title in the last five years.
The Rebels, ranked No. 14 by The Associated Press and No. 12 in the USA Today/ ESPN coaches poll, can claim the West title outright with a win over the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
Ole Miss is 10-4 in the SEC, while LSU is just 1-13. Tipoff for the contest, which is not scheduled to be televised, is set for 7 p.m. at the Maravich Assembly Center.
Senior center Rahim Lockhart leads Ole Miss in scoring and rebounding at 12.7 and 8.5 per game, respectively, while freshman forward Justin Reed scores 11.4 points per game.
LSU, 11-14 overall, looks to Biloxi native Ronald Dupree, who puts in 16.9 points per contest.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State will try to continue its recent hot streak tonight when the Bulldogs visit Georgia, while Southern Miss entertains a red-hot Memphis team.
State's Bulldogs, lethargic on the road all season, could keep their slim hopes of postseason play alive with a win at Georgia.
Mississippi State got its first SEC road win of the season last weekend at LSU. The Bulldogs are 15-10 overall and 6-8 in conference play.
Georgia and coach Jim Harrick are also entertaining postseason dreams and are viewing tonight's contest as a must-win situation.
The Georgia Dawgs are 15-12 overall, but 8-6 in the conference and have the nation's toughest schedule according to computer rankings.
Junior guard D.A. Layne (16.9 points per game) leads Georgia.
MSU is led in scoring by senior guard Antonio Jackson (13.1 ppg) and senior forward Tang Hamilton (13.0 ppg).
The tipoff for State and Georgia's non-televised game is set for 6:30 p.m.
At Hattiesburg's Reed Green Coliseum, Southern Miss is looking to reach the 20-win plateau for the season against Memphis at 7 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are 19-7 overall an d 9-5 in Conference-USA.
Southern's David Wall is averaging 14.2 points, while Vandarel Jones throws in 12.1 points per game.
Memphis and coach John Calipari are one win away from clinching a share of the conference title, while USM could also get a share with wins in its final two contests.
The Tigers, 16-11 overall, are 10-4 in league play.
Six-foot-10 junior post player Kelly Wise leads Memphis with averages of 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.