Mississippi State Starts Strong in Conference Play

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AP Sports Writer

Mississippi State's non-conference performance was such a disaster that it was easy to wonder if first-year coach Rick Ray could lead his team to even one Southeastern Conference victory this season.

One week into SEC play, the Bulldogs have already won twice.

It's been a stunning turnaround for Mississippi State (7-7, 2-0 SEC), which scuffled through December but should now have a little momentum and confidence when it hosts Alabama (9-6, 1-1) on Wednesday at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Bulldogs went 5-7 during non-conference play, with the low point being a particularly embarrassing 59-57 home loss to Alabama A&M on Dec. 30. But since that day, they've won three straight, including a home victory over South Carolina and a road win over Georgia to start SEC play.

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