Mississippi State routs UM in basketball exhibition

Junior Jarvis Varnado posted a double-double to lead Mississippi State to an 88-59 preseason exhibition victory over the University of Montevallo Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss. The game was Montevallo’s second pre-season game against a Southeastern Conference team in three years, after traveling to the University of Alabama to start the 2006 season.

Varnado, the reigning National Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor to go along with his game-high 12 rebounds. He also blocked eight shots after leading the nation in blocked shots a year ago with 157. Sophomore Ravern Johnson led all scorers on the night with 19. MSU freshman Romero Osby also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Montevallo was led in scoring by Marcus Lancaster and Freddy Little with 10 points each, while Nate Flowers led the team with eight rebounds.

Ranking second nationally in team field goal percentage defense, the Bulldogs followed suit by holding Montevallo to just 23-of-71 shooting from the floor for a 32.6 percent. Leading Montevallo in rebounding at halftime 32-21, State never let up and finished the game with a 62-37 advantage.

Mississippi State will wrap up exhibition play on Saturday, Nov. 8 at home against two-time NAIA national champion and pre-season No. 1 Oklahoma City University.

UM will open its season Nov. 7-9 in the 12th annual Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic at the Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. UM opens against the University of Minnesota-Duluth No. 7 at 4 p.m., followed by No. 2 Florida Southern College Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. The final game of the Classic for UM will be against Lees-McRae Nov. 9 at 4 p.m.