A national television audience gets to witness the Arkansas-Mississippi State rematch, this time at Bud Walton Arena, on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Arkansas and Mississippi State played to a two point, 82-80, final in Starkville on Jan. 14, won by the home town Bulldogs in the closing moments.
Arkansas (8-11, 1-3 SEC) is coming off a tough week that saw it lose to Florida at home in a close contest before dropping its second game on the road at now No. 1 Kentucky. The Razorbacks continue to play the toughest stretch of their Southeastern Conference schedule early and hope to end a two game slide against the Bulldogs.
The Razorbacks continue to get solid play out of point guard Courtney Fortson who has two double-doubles in five games since his return to the lineup. Fortson is averaging 17.2 points per contest and has 36 assists for an average of 7.2 per game. He is also grabbing 4.4 rebounds, an average which ranks fourth on the roster.
Mississippi State (15-4, 3-1 SEC) had a three-game conference winning streak snapped at Alabama on Saturday when they fell 62-57. The Bulldogs opened the SEC season with a victory at Ole Miss before home wins against the Razorbacks and Georgia Bulldogs.
The first meeting between the two schools was dominated by Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado. The 6-9 center for the bulldogs scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had 10 blocked shots for the second triple-double of his career. Mississippi State came out on fire, hitting 10 of its first 11 shots and jumped out to a 19 point lead in the first half. Arkansas responded by sticking to its game and driving the ball down the lane in the opening half with Fortson and feeding Marshawn Powell in the second. Powell ended the game with 25 points while Fortson produced 20.
The Arkansas-Mississippi State game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. The contest can also be heard on radio across the state of Arkansas on the Razorback Sports Network with Mike Nail and Rick Schaeffer giving the calls. Nail is in his 29th and final season as the play-by-play voice of the Razorbacks.
Looking past the Mississippi State contest, Arkansas takes to the road one more to face the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Miss., on Jan. 30, at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.