The Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-5, 0-2 Big 10) welcome the No. 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-0) Sunday in a matchup of slow-paced teams. Mississippi State dominated the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 82-52 at Humphrey Coliseum on December 3, their eighth straight win.
Tolu Smith had a standout performance with 24 points. Minnesota dropped their fourth in a row on Thursday at Williams Arena, falling to the Michigan Wolverines 90-75. Ta’Lon Cooper topped the scoresheet in the losing effort with 16 points. With 15 points, Pharrel Payne also impressed. The Golden Gophers are 10th in the Big Ten Conference.
The teams are meeting for the only time this season. Minnesota took the only game between the teams last season 81-76 at Humphrey Coliseum in December 2021. Payton Willis led the Golden Gophers with 24 points and seven assists. Iverson Molinar had 26 points and six assists in the losing effort.The Bulldogs have been led this season by Smith, who is averaging 16.3 points per game. Smith also has grabbed 10.0 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Cameron Matthews is dishing 2.4 assists. Dawson Garcia and Cooper have been the primary providers of the Golden Gophers’ offense, averaging 13.2 and 11.6 points per game, respectively. Cooper also has recorded 6.9 assists per game.
Payne has collected 5.4 rebounds per game. Half-court execution will be of utmost importance in this matchup that features two of the country’s slowest-paced teams, as the Bulldogs and the Golden Gophers rank 344th and 310th, respectively, in possessions per game.
SportsTips’ College Football Pick:
Miss State -7.5 (-105)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.