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Lamar Peters

by Caleb Garner, Graduate Assistant/Communications
 
NEWARK, New Jersey – Lamar Peters matched his own program single-game record with eight, and No. 22 Mississippi State splashed home a program school-record 19 treys to claim an 82-71 victory over Clemson during Saturday's Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center.
 
The Bulldogs (8-1) led wire-to-wire and by as many as 19 points late in the first half. Mississippi State snapped a three-game losing streak to Clemson (6-3) and also has won back-to-back games over ACC opponents following a 79-56 triumph over Louisville in the 2018 NIT Quarterfinals.
 
The 19 three-pointers eclipsed the previous mark of 17 set against Southern Miss on Dec. 19, 2016 in Jackson. The Bulldogs have canned 33 triples fueled by 16 from Peters during their last two games.
 
For Peters, he posted a career-best game for the second straight game. The New Orleans native fired in 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting ignited by eight treys. He also dished out five assists to surpass the 300-mark for his career.
 
Peters' running mate, Quinndary Weatherspoon, poured in solid all-around effort with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists a steal. It marked his fifth 20-point performance of the season as Mississippi State moved its record to 19-2 and won 11 consecutive games over the last two seasons when he eclipses the 20-point mark. The one steal enabled Weatherspoon to tie Timmy Bowers (2001-02-03-04) for 7th on the program's all-time list. 
 
Aric Holman secured 16 points, six rebounds and one block. He knocked down 5-of-8 shooting – all from behind the three-point line. The one block allowed Holman to match Rickey Brown (1977-78-79-80) for fifth place on the school's blocks list.
 
Tyson Carter garnered eight points, four assists and two steals followed by Nick Weatherspoon who handed out a career-high six assists to go along with five rebounds and two points. Reggie Perry tacked on five rebounds and two points, while Abdul Ado notched four points and three rebounds.
 
Mississippi State held a 32-31 rebounding edge over the Tigers, and the Bulldogs distributed out 22 assists on 28 field goals.
 
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
That was really a big win for us tonight, to beat a very good Clemson team that we have great respect for. I thought we came out and, obviously, got off to a great start. Aric (Holman) made those three threes, and Lamar made a tough shot. We got rolling."
 
"Our defense was really good. We had a 20-point lead (late in the first half). I was a little disappointed we let it dissipate, only leading eight at the half. But the way we shot the ball tonight, I believe in our guys. It's just nice to see how well we can shoot the ball, and it's coming out the last two games. Lamar, in particular, spent an incredible amount of time in the off-season working on his shot. You could see he has a lot of confidence in his shot"
 
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Bulldogs raced out to fast 11-2 during the game's opening 110 seconds as Aric Holman drained a trio of three-pointers. Mississippi State stretched the advantage to 26-12 at the 9:31 mark after a back-to-back treys courtesy of Lamar Peters.
 
The Bulldogs continued to excel on the defensive end, and a 9-0 run vaulted the Maroon and White to their largest lead at 38-19 with 3:59 to go. Quinndary Weatherspoon capped the flurry with a driving layup.
 
Overall, Mississippi State banged home 10 first-half triples to take a 42-34 edge into halftime.
 
The Bulldogs picked up right where they left off to start the second 20 minutes. Lamar Peters converted a steal into a stepback, transition three-pointer on the right wing. Then, he drove and found Abdul Ado for a layup. The New Orleans native dialed up two more triples to make it 53-40 with 16:46 on the clock.   
 
Clemson wouldn't go away and pulled back to within five points at 58-53 with 13:11 remaining. The Tigers remained within striking distance but wouldn't get any closer than five points.
 
At 65-60, Holman and Carter fired in three-pointers on back-to-back possessions from Quinndary Weatherspoon and Nick Weatherspoon, respectively, to stretch the margin back to 71-60 with 8:12 left.
 
Peters put the finishing touches on the 13-point triumph with a pair of free throws to give himself a career-high 28 points.
 
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 28-of-52 shots from the field (53.8 percent), 19-of-30 shots from 3-point range (63.3 percent) and 7-of-11 shots from the foul line (63.6 percent).
 
The Tigers hit 27-of-62 shots from the field (43.5 percent), 6-of-27 shots from 3-point range (22.2 percent) and 11-of-17 shots from the foul line (64.7 percent).
 
Mississippi State had 22 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Tigers had 15 assists and nine turnovers.
 
Clemson received 23 points from Aamir Simms, 18 points from Elijah Thomas and 12 points from David Skara. Thomas also had a team-high eight rebounds and three blocks for the Tigers.
 
UP NEXT
Mississippi State welcomes Cincinnati, the defending American Athletic Conference (AAC) champions, to Humphrey Coliseum next Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 pm. CT. The game will be televised by SEC Network and available online courtesy of the WatchESPN app.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Aric Holman

by Matt Dunaway, Associate Director/Communications
 
NEWARK, New Jersey – No. 22 Mississippi State will begin a stretch of five consecutive games versus 2017-18 postseason squads when the Bulldogs square off with Clemson on Saturday at the Never Forget Tribute Classic hosted by the Prudential Center.
 
The Tigers have won the previous three meetings between the two schools most recently a home-and-home during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Both meetings were decided by a combined five points. Mississippi State's last win over an ACC opponent was a 79-56 rout of Louisville on March 20 in the quarterfinal round at the 2018 NIT.
 
The Matchup: No 22 Mississippi State (7-1, 0-0 SEC) vs. Clemson (6-2, 0-0 ACC)
Where: Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
When: Saturday, Dec. 8, 3:00 p.m. CT
Live Stats: StatBroadcast (https://hailst.at/MBKLiveStats)
 
TV: ESPN2
Talent: John Sciambi, Chris Spatola
Online: https://hailst.at/CLEMvsMSU1208
 
Radio: Mississippi State Sports Network – Powered by Learfield
Talent: Neil Price, Richard Williams
Affiliates: WKBB-FM 100.9 Starkville/West Point (Full List: https://hailst.at/MBKAffiliates)
Free Online Audio: Hail State Plus (https://hailst.at/MBKListen); Tune-In Radio App (https://hailst.at/MBKTuneIn)
Sirius/XM: Ch. 206 (Sirius), Ch. 190 (XM), Ch. 961 (Internet)
 
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE
1. Mississippi State has erased a halftime deficit in back-to-back games. The Bulldogs overcame a 29-26 hole at Dayton on Nov. 30 and a 42-39 deficit versus McNeese State on Dec. 4. It marked the second time under fourth-year coach Ben Howland and 10th time since 1982-83 that Mississippi State has won when trailing at the half in consecutive games. The Bulldogs defeated Stephen F. Austin and Jacksonville State last season.
 
2. Lamar Peters equaled a single-game school record when he drained eight three-pointers en route to a career-best 27 points during the McNeese State game. He has secured double figures in five of his last six outings. Peters have been living by the three-ball recently and knocked down 14 of his 22 treys over his last three appearances.
 
3. Reggie Perry has posted 12.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in his last three outings. He has connected on 15 of his 21 shot attempts highlighted by 11 of his 13 two-point attempts during that span. The 2018 McDonalds All-American nearly dialed up his second double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds against McNeese State.  
 
4. Quinndary Weatherspoon, the SEC's active leader in points and steals, will look to return to double figures. He has eclipsed the 20-point plateau four times on the young season. The 2018 Jerry West Award Watch List member has piled up 1,514 career points which ranks 10th on the program's all-time list. The Bulldogs are 18-2 overall and have reeled off 10 straight victories over the last two seasons when Weatherspoon produces 20-plus points.
 
5. Nick Weatherspoon has garnered 14.0 points and 2.3 assists per game over his last three outings … On the interior, Abdul Ado has added 8.5 points on 7-of-12 from the floor since returning from injury at Dayton on Nov. 30 … Tyson Carter has been Mississippi State's most consistent performer off the bench with 10.3 points per game. The Bulldogs are 6-0 in 2018-19 and 18-2 over the last two seasons when Carter comes away with 10-plus points.  
 
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
Clemson is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls after a trip to the 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The Tigers dropped a pair of tightly-contested decisions to Creighton (87-82) and Nebraska (68-66) before returning to the win column against Saint Peter's (65-60) earlier this week.  
 
Marcquise Reed has dialed up 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The 19.4 points for the preseason All-ACC Second-Team selection are third on the ACC leaderboard. He has ripped off double figures in seven of eight appearances fueled by five outings of 20-plus points.
 
Shelton Mitchell and Elijah Thomas have chipped in 14.5 points and 11.9 points per game, respectively. Thomas has converted on 66.1 percent of his field goal attempts and already has a trio of double-doubles on the young season whereas Mitchell has pieced together double figures in all eight games and is 34 points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.
 
Off the bench, Clyde Trapp has provided 5.8 points per game with seven of his 15 field goals coming from beyond the three-point line.

UP NEXT
Mississippi State welcomes Cincinnati, the defending American Athletic Conference (AAC) champions, to Humphrey Coliseum next Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 pm. CT. The game will be televised by SEC Network and available online courtesy of the WatchESPN app.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Anriel Howard scored 29 points in the Bulldogs' win against Marquette.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Anriel Howard and Teaira McCowan each collected double-doubles as No. 6 Mississippi State survived a huge challenge from No. 18/15 Marquette, shooting its way to an 87-82 victory in women's basketball action Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU (9-0) beat its second straight ranked opponent by shooting 49.3 percent from the field and enjoying a plus-13 rebounding advantage.
The Bulldogs won their 45th straight non-conference game in regular season play. MSU also extended it home win streak to 26 straight, the third longest active home win streak in the nation.

"What a heck of a game," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "Want to commend Marquette for coming in here and playing unfazed. It was a tremendous game. Proud of us for finding a way when it was not our best night. Anriel had an unbelievable night. (Teaira) goes for another double-double. They were special tonight.

"We are a long way from being a finished product. Tonight, we had some rough edges that were exposed, but we made enough plays, got enough rebounds, made enough stops there at the end."

Howard collected her second double-double on the season with an MSU-career-high 29 points and 12 rebounds. McCowan collected her seventh double-double this season with 24 points and 18 rebounds.

Jordan Danberry added 13 points. Jazzmun Holmes had a career-high 13 assists, while matching her career high with two blocked shots.
Overall, the Bulldogs finished with eight blocks and five steals. However, the squad did give up 21 fast-break points.

The contest was tight throughout with eight ties and 25 lead changes.

The Bulldogs scored six straight points to lead 15-11 late in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Howard ran the lead to 20-15. The Golden Eagles, however, shot 10-of-14 from the field for a 23-22 lead after one quarter.

The home team scored four straight points to open the second quarter. Again, the contest swung back-and-forth as the Golden Eagles answered with nine straight points to take a 38-30 lead.

Marquette was then held scoreless over the final 2:53 of the quarter. The Bulldogs scored the final 12 points of the half to take a 42-38 lead at halftime.
A 3-pointer by Bibby highlighted the run and gave the Bulldogs a 40-38 lead.

The lead was again swapped a couple of times early in the third quarter. An 8-0 run gave the Golden Eagles a 62-55 lead, but the Bulldogs then battled back to hold a 63-62 lead to end the period.

After another hard-fought fourth quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with 1:43 to play on a basket in the lane by McCowan to make the score 80-79.

A layup by Bibby ran the lead to 85-82 with 13 seconds left. Holmes made two free throws, and Bibby picked up a block to close the game with an 87-82 edge.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 33 of 67 shots from the field (49.3 percent), 4 of 11 shots from 3-point range (36.4 percent) and 17 of 20 shots from the foul line (85.0 percent). The Golden Eagles hit 33 of 61 shots from the field (54.1 percent), 8 of 21 shots from 3-point range (38.1 percent) and 8 of 11 shots from the foul line (72.7 percent).

MSU held a 40-27 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 21 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had 13 assists and 15 turnovers.
Marquette (6-2) received 27 points from Danielle King, 18 points from Natisha Hiedeman, 17 points from Allazia Blockton and 10 points from Amani Wilborn. Wilborn had a double-double as she also collected a team-high 10 rebounds.

MSU will take a week off for final examinations before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 14 for a 6 p.m. start against in-state foe Southern Miss in Hattiesburg.

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Ben Howland

by Matt Dunaway, Associate Director/Communications
 
STARKVILLE – No. 22 Mississippi State heads into the home stretch of its non-conference slate and will start the first of five straight games versus teams who earned postseason berths last season.
 
The Bulldogs take on Clemson, a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 participant, as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday. Tip time is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and available online courtesy of the WatchESPN app. Jon Sciambi and Chris Spatola will serve as the announcing team.   
 
Mississippi State's next five opponents piled up a combined 126 wins during the 2017-18 season. The Tigers (6-2) are receiving votes in the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls.
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
Head coach Ben Howland and Aric Holman met with the media after Thursday's practice. Below is a transcript of the session.
 
Mississippi State Men's Basketball Media Session
December 6, 2018 – Humphrey Coliseum
 
Head Coach Ben Howland
Opening Statement
BH: "Well, we've got obviously a very tough opponent in Clemson coming up in Saturday… We had practice today, and it was a tough practice from the standpoint of all of these guys spent all day yesterday doing all of their work trying to get everything in. Right now is a tough time for students because they're really involved in their studies, staying up late and getting ready for tests. All of those kids on our team today a bunch of them have multiple tutoring appointments that start at 3 p.m. today and go all day. Hopefully, we can get enough rest tomorrow night to be at our best."
 
Q: Clemson's obviously got a pretty good team this year? What stands out about them?
BH: "They have good guard play, and they've got really good bigs with a lot of depth inside. Their two centers (Elijah) Thomas and (Javan) White are really good, skilled scorers. Their guards are outstanding, their two leading scorers, the two players who take the most shots. But they've got size, they're big, their four man, (Aamir) Simms is a big, athletic kid. Their three man, (David) Skara, he starts at the three moves to the four. They have size like (Clyde) Trapp coming off the bench at the wing is a very good shooter and scores. They've got a bunch of players. They've got experience having been to the Sweet 16 a year ago, that really helps them. You can see just their presence, and they're well-coached."
 
Q: How do the guys embrace a non-conference schedule where almost every game is a big game?
BH: "We need to embrace it, and I think they do and its fun for them. I told them that the rest of our non-conference is incredibly difficult starting with Clemson. Clemson, they all know, is good. They all know they were in the top 25 to start the season. They'll be back in it before the season's over. They'll be a NCAA Tournament team, and this is a big challenge."
 
Q: Is this team more prepared to win neutral site games than they have been in a while?
BH: "Yeah, I would think. I don't know if the neutral site part plays into it as much as just it's against a good team. They're good, and we're both having to travel all the way up to New Jersey to play the game. It's for a great cause. They're using this game to raise money -- you never forget, for all the people involved in 9/11, especially a lot of the people who were firemen. They end up cleaning all that mess up. There's carcinogens and everything, and they end up dying because of the cleanup effort. These poor kids are left fatherless. So, it's really – it's a good thing. I appreciate that. It's a nationally-televised event so it's good exposure for our program. It's a big-time arena, the Prudential Center, is big-time."
 
Q: Are you pleased with the rotation, the amount of minutes everyone is getting, in particular, with Reggie Perry, with how well he's playing?
BH: "He played 18 minutes in the last game and he's had some allergies he's starting to get dealt with here since we got back from (Las Vegas). I think his stamina and wind is really improving. His minutes are definitely increasing… He was dragging today because he was studying all night. It's like 'Reggie, what's going on?' He says, ' Coach, I've got tutoring that goes forever today.' He's tutoring the whole day now. A freshman in college, first semester, it's no joke."
 
Q: Do you have any personal ties what happened on 9/11?
BH: "I was in Pittsburgh, the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh, when the attack occurred. I'll never forget it. When we were up there in the northeast, I had a lot of people in our program – notably my starting point guard Brandon Knight who was first team All-American … Thirteen of his fellow classmates died, people who went to his school, died in the attack."
 
"But I remember also there were no airplanes. Nothing was in the air. You had fighter jets, and it was eerie. I remember driving in New York City two days later, recruiting – the smell and the stench from those collapsed twin towers that went down was just unbelievable. It was a terrible time for our country at that time so I remember it vividly. To hear about all the people who were affected by it in terms of the cleanup, the firemen, all of the different people who were first responders. A lot of those people got sick and were affected by it in a bad way."
 
 
Forward Aric Holman
Q: How do you think this team is more prepared to play away from home after winning a couple on the road in the NIT last season and going to (Las Vegas) a couple of weeks ago?
AH: "I would say we are much more prepared because we have experience now. We have a lot of older guys, even including Lamar (Peters), juniors, that have been in these situations. We can all feed off each other and adapt to the situation and also help out the young guys and get them ready for it."
 
Q: Has it been different for you guys to play a tough non-conference schedule? Does that amp up the intensity of these early months?
AH: "It makes us be more prepared and more focused. We always take it one day at a time. We also know where we want to get to at the end of the year so we have to put that pressure on us right now to get there"
 
Q: What does it mean for you to play for a cause like 9/11 this weekend?
AH: "It's a great way for us to be able to play the game that we love and also give back. To hang out with families and kids that have been through a lot. For us to be in this opportunity, I'm thankful."

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Man of the Year - 2018

by Brandon Langlois, Associate Director/Communications

STARKVILLE –
Former Mississippi State football standouts quarterback Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) and K.J. Wright (Seattle Seahawks) were named nominees Thursday for the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Presented by Nationwide, the award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
 
All 32 teams have a nominee, and the winner will be announced Feb. 2 during the "NFL Honors" awards special on Super Bowl weekend.
 
MSU is one of only five schools (two from the Southeastern Conference) to have multiple nominees for the award. The others schools are California, Florida, Illinois and Oklahoma.
 
Fans can vote for Prescott and Wright by using #WPMOYChallenge on Twitter with the nominee's last name somewhere in the post between Dec. 6 and Jan. 13. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide. More information on Prescott and Wright's nominations, hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
 
A four-year letterman from 2012-15, Prescott has long been a leader both on the field and in the community. During his senior season with the Bulldogs in 2015, he won the Senior CLASS Award honoring the attributes of student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The owner of two academic degrees from MSU, Prescott is also the school's most decorated player having shattered 38 school records and leading the Bulldogs to their first No. 1 national ranking.
 
In honor of his late mother, Peggy, Prescott created his Fight Finish Faith Foundation to empower individuals, families, and communities to find strength through adversity. The foundation focuses on fighting cancer and offering assistance to those facing life-challenging hardships. Prescott also supports youth initiatives, partnering with the Just Keep Livin Foundation that implements after-school fitness and wellness programs in inner-city high schools.
 
Prescott became the highest drafted Mississippi State quarterback in modern NFL Draft history when the Cowboys called his name in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The 2016 Pro Bowl selection has thrown for 9,667 yards and 59 touchdowns and rushed for 940 yards and 17 touchdowns in 44 games played with Dallas.

A Pro Bowler in 2017 and member of the Super Bowl XLVIII championship team, Wright has made a positive impact both on and off the field. This past offseason, he traveled to Kenya, where he delivered books and helped teach English to children in Kenya's Maasai Mara region. In October, he announced his continued commitment to make a difference in Kenya and pledged to donate $300 for every tackle he records this season. The money will go towards the construction of a fresh-water well for the primary school in Maasai Mara. The campaign also includes a fundraising platform allowing fans to donate to the cause – the fund has raised more than $20,000 to date. Wright plans to return to Kenya in 2019.
 
Wright serves as a mentor for Future Leaders, working with inner city youth to help them learn basics of entrepreneurship and technology to solve problems in their community. He is also a mentor for area youth through Rainier Athletes, a local program to support and motivate students to achieve their greatest potential. For the past two years, Wright has also worked with area youth through the NFL's Character Playbook, which teaches middle school students how to build healthy relationships and make good decisions.
 
Wright, from Olive Branch, Mississippi, lettered at MSU from 2007-10 and started 35 of 47 games played. He finished his collegiate career with 259 tackles (131 solo), including nine sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hurries.

For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." All-access coverage is also available on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap.

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SI All-America 2018

by Brandon Langlois, Associate Director/Communications

STARKVILLE –
Postseason honors continued to roll in Wednesday for Mississippi State as senior defensive end Montez Sweat and senior safety Johnathan Abram were named second-team All-Americans by Sports Illustrated.
 
This was Sweat's first postseason All-America honor and the second for Abram, who also earned second-team status from The Athletic on Wednesday. Joining Abram on The Athletic's All-America teams were senior center Elgton Jenkins (first team) and junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (second team).
 
Wednesday's selections marked the second time in MSU history and the first time since 2000 that the Bulldogs had four different players land on All-America teams (linebacker Mario Haggan, safety Pig Prather, cornerback Fred Smoot, offensive tackle Pork Chop Womack). Sweat and Simmons also become the second Bulldog defensive line tandem in program history to earn All-America status in the same season and the first since defensive tackle Glen Collins and defensive end Billy Jackson in 1981.
 
One of college football's most feared edge rushers, Sweat racked up 11 sacks, good for sixth in the FBS and second in the Southeastern Conference. He boasted 40 total pressures over the season, according to Pro Football Focus, which was the second most in the SEC among edge defenders. Sweat totaled 51 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumbled over the year en route to two SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week selections and two national defensive player of the week honors.
 
A hard-hitting playmaker, Abram filled the stat sheet in his final year with the Bulldogs, racking up 93 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions, once forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Abram led all SEC safeties with a passer rating of 41.6 allowed over his 40 targets according to PFF. He was especially dominant in the month of November, recording 31 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, a pair of pass breakups, four hurries and a forced fumble. In his final game at Davis Wade Stadium against Arkansas, Abram tallied 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble and earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.
 
On ESPN's Todd McShay's top 32 players for the 2019 NFL Draft, Sweat is listed No. 24 and Abram is at No. 30. Both Sweat and Abram also were first-team All-SEC picks by the Associated Press on Monday.
 
For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." All-access coverage is also available on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap.
 
SI's 2018 College Football All-America Team
An asterisk (*) next to a player's name indicates that he was a unanimous selection.
 
FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
QB: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
RB: Darrell Henderson, Memphis
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
WR: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
WR: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
TE: Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
OT: Andrew Thomas, Georgia
OT: Jonah Williams, Alabama*
G: Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin
G: Dru Samia, Oklahoma
C: Michael Jordan, Ohio State
 
FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
DL: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
DL: Quinnen Williams, Alabama
DL: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
DL: Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois
LB: Josh Allen, Kentucky*
LB: Devin White, LSU
LB: Devin Bush, Michigan
CB: Deandre Baker, Georgia
CB: Julian Love, Notre Dame
S: Grant Delpit, LSU
S: Deionte Thompson, Alabama*
 
FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS
K: Andre Szmyt, Syracuse*
P: Braden Mann, Texas A&M*
All-Purpose: Rondale Moore, Purdue
Returner: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
 
SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
RB: Travis Etienne, Clemson
RB: Alexander Mattison, Boise State
WR: Andy Isabella, UMass
WR: Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
TE: Alize Mack, Notre Dame
OT: Andre Dillard, Washington State
OT: Dalton Risner, Kansas State
G: Terrone Prescod, NC State
G: Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky
C: Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
 
SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
DL: Ed Oliver, Houston
DL: Jachai Polite, Florida
DL: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
DL: Gerald Willis, Miami
LB: Joe Dineen Jr., Kansas
LB: Benn Burr-Kirven, Washington
LB: Jordan Kunaszyk, Cal
CB: Hamp Cheevers, Boston College
CB: Byron Murphy, Washington
S: Taylor Rapp, Washington
S: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
 
SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS
K: Cole Tracy, LSU
P: Will Hart, Michigan
All-Purpose: Darrell Henderson, Memphis
Returner: Mecole Hardman, Georgia
 
Mississippi State's 2018 Postseason All-America Honors
 
Johnathan Abram, Sr., S
The Athletic (second team)
Sports Illustrated (second team)
 
Elgton Jenkins, Sr., OL
The Athletic (first team)
 
Jeffery Simmons, Jr., DT
The Athletic (second team)
 
Montez Sweat, Sr., DE
Sports Illustrated (second team)

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WBK: Next Game Marquette

by Brian Ogden, Assistant Coordinator/Communications

STARKVILLE – 
Fresh off an 18-point win over then-No. 10 Texas, Mississippi State's sixth-ranked women's basketball team hosts No. 18/15 Marquette on Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
 
Tipoff from Starkville is set for 7 p.m. CT with the game airing on SEC Network . Fans can listen to the action on the MSU Radio Network and online via HailState.com/Plus and the TuneIn app.
 
The Bulldogs have won eight of their last 10 games against ranked opponents and enter the game with a 45-game winning streak in regular-season non-conference contests, dating back to Dec. 2, 2015.
 
MSU's defense has been suffocating, leading to the largest scoring margin in the country ( 46.4). The Bulldogs held Texas to just 49 points, marking the first time in school history that State kept an AP Top 10 team under 50 points.
 
The Bulldogs lead the nation in blocks per game (8.0) and have the No. 7 turnover margin ( 9.5) in the nation. According to HerHoopStats.com, MSU is the nation's second-best team when it comes to defending inside the three-point arc, holding opponents to 30.9 percent shooting.
 
Senior Teaira McCowan enters the game as the reigning SEC Player of the Week. It was McCowan's second award this season and seventh career weekly honor from the league, tying Victoria Vivians and LaToya Thomas for the MSU record. Individually, McCowan ranks fourth in the country among active players with 45 career double-doubles after picking up another last time out. She also broke the Bulldogs' career rebounds record and will be recognized for that achievement prior to the National Anthem on Thursday night.
 
Fans are invited to gear up for finals with this "Breakcation" themed game. MSU students get free admission with their student ID, and the first 1,000 students in attendance will receive free MSU Hawaiian T-shirts. All fans will receive a free Hawaiian lei while supplies last.
 
Thursday's contest will offer double HailState Rewards points and is a prize pickup game. Bully's Kids Club members will earn 100 points. Bully's Kidz Kourt opens for all kids at 5:30 p.m.
 
GAME INFORMATION
Opponent: No. 18/15 Marquette
Location: Starkville, Mississippi (Humphrey Coliseum)
Time: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Watch: SEC Network (PxP – Bart Gregory; Analyst – Charlie Winfield)
Listen: MSU Radio Network and HailState.com/Plus (PxP – Jason Crowder; Analyst – Blair Schaefer)
 
SERIES HISTORY
Overall: First Meeting
At MSU: Tied 0-0
At MU: Tied 0-0
Neutral Sites: Tied 0-0
Last Meeting: N/A
 
BULLDOG BITES
  • State has won 44 straight regular-season non-conference contests. The Dawgs have won 11-straight non-conference road games and 19 such contests at home, with the last setback coming at Texas on Dec. 2, 2015.
  • Seniors Jazzmun Holmes and Teaira McCowan have won 107-career games, 4th-most in the nation since 2015-16. Their 79 wins since 2016-17 are tied for the most in the nation.
  • State has been in the AP poll 79 straight weeks, including 43 weeks in a row in the Top 10.
  • The Bulldogs are the nation's 3rd-best scoring offense, averaging 93.8 ppg. Its 47.4 ppg allowed is also 3rd in the country, giving the Dawgs the highest scoring margin (46.4) in Division I.
  • MSU tops the SEC in FG% (52.3%), FG% defense (30.7%), assist/turnover ratio (1.6), rebound margin ( 18.8), scoring offense and scoring defense.
  • The Bulldogs continue to lead the nation in blocked shots with 64 on the year, 8.0 bpg. Teaira McCowan's 25 blocks are 2nd in the nation, while Jessika Carter's 19 are 14th. They are 1st and 2nd in the SEC, respectively.
  • Jazzmun Holmes rates 4th in the country, 1st in the SEC, with a 4.5 assist/turnover ratio. Jordan Danberry is 4th in the league (2.5). They have helped MSU to DI's 5th-best ratio (1.6).
  • Teaira McCowan scored double figures in 14-straight games going back to last season, with 9 of those being 20-point efforts. The two-time SEC Player of the Week is averaging 19.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg and shooting 74.5% from the field over the last four games. She broke the Bulldogs' career rebounding record (1,109) on Sunday.
  • Jazzmun Holmes scored a career-high 17 points at  then-No. 10 Texas on Sunday to lead a Bulldog attack that has seen at least four players score in double-figures in each of the past six games.
  • Chloe Bibby is 4th in the SEC averaging 2.8 3-pointers per game. She is 1st in the SEC, 7th in the nation, sinking the triple at a 57.9% clip.
 
LAST TIME OUT FOR MSU... 
  • MSU used a 16-0 first-half run to take control of the game against then-No. 10 Texas on Sunday at the Frank Erwin Center on the way to a 67-49 win.
  • Jazzmun Holmes led four Bulldogs in double figures with a career-high 17 points. Teaira McCowan posted her 45th career double-double (13 pts, 12 rebs) while breaking the Bulldogs' career rebound record. Chloe Bibby scored 14 points and Jordan Danberry had 12.
 
GET TO KNOW THE OPPONENT…
  • No. 18 Marquette enters the game with a 6-1 record and has won each of its last three games, including a 96-32 victory over UIC.
  • Marquette's Allazia Blockton earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll as the league's top scorer last week, averaging 23.0 points over two games. Blockton leads the team with 19.1 ppg. Natisha Hiedeman is second on the squad with 14.0 ppg.
  • The Golden Eagles have started five seniors in all but one game when redshirt sophomore Lauren Van Kleunen stepped in for senior Erika Davenport.
  • Marquette returns five starters from last year's BIG EAST championship team.
 
MCCOWAN BREAKS MSU CAREER REBOUNDING RECORD
  • With a dozen rebounds at Texas, McCowan has now passed LaToya Thomas (2000-03) for sole possession of the MSU career rebounds record with 1,109.
  • The SEC active career leader on the boards, McCowan is 3rd in the SEC and 17th in Division I this season hauling down 11.8 rpg.
  • She tops the SEC and is 9th nationally on the offensive glass (5.0 rpg.)
  • The Brenham, Texas, native set the SEC season rebounds record with 544 a year ago. That tally ranks 2nd in NCAA Division I history.
 
STATE STELLAR IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
  • MSU has won 45 consecutive regular-season non-conference games. The Dawgs last loss came at Texas on Dec. 2, 2015. At home, the Bulldogs boast 19 straight wins in such games.
  • Including the postseason, MSU has won 40 games in a row against non-conference competition inside The Hump. The Bulldogs' last home loss to a non-SEC foe came against South Florida in the WNIT quarterfinals on March 30, 2014.

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The Athletic AA 2018

by Brandon Langlois, Associate Director/Communications

STARKVILLE –
A trio of Mississippi State Bulldogs were selected to The Athletic's All-America teams, honoring the best performances in 2018, on Wednesday.
 
Senior center Elgton Jenkins was named to the first team, while senior safety Johnathan Abram and junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons made the second team.
 
Selections were made by The Athletic's college football editors after reviewing nominations from the staff of writers. MSU is one of five schools in the country with at least three selections among the two All-America teams.
 
Jenkins, from Clarksdale, Mississippi, is the first first-team All-American offensive lineman for MSU since Gabe Jackson in 2013. A versatile veteran who has started 31 games in his career and can play all four positions on the offensive line, Jenkins anchors a unit that paves the way for a Bulldog run game that averages 226.4 yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry. Jenkins, who claimed the Kent Hull Trophy last week as the top offensive lineman in the state of Mississippi, is a two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week this season and boasts an 80.8 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. In 726 snaps in pass protection at center over the last two seasons, he has allowed just one sack. He has played 2,597 total snaps over his 48-game career and is projected to be the No. 1 center selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
 
Abram, who was a first-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press on Monday, filled the stat sheet in his final year with the Bulldogs. The Columbia, Mississippi, product racked up 93 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions, once forced fumble and one fumble recovery over the year. Abram allowed a passer rating of 41.6 over his 40 targets this season according to PFF, which led all SEC safeties. In November games, Abram posted 31 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, a pair of pass breakups, four hurries and a forced fumble. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 19 after he recorded 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble in his final game at Davis Wade Stadium against Arkansas. Abram is listed at No. 30 on ESPN Todd McShay's top 32 players for the 2019 NFL Draft.
 
Simmons, one of the most dominant defensive linemen in college football, closed the regular season with 59 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and four pass breakups. With a 91.1 overall defensive grade from PFF, Simmons ranked second among all interior defenders. A first-team All-SEC pick by the AP, Simmons' 14.5 tackles for loss ranked fourth in the SEC. A total of 45 of his 59 tackles came during conference play, which led all defensive lineman. The Macon, Mississippi, native, was one of just four SEC defensive interior linemen with at least 15 hurries and four quarterback hits this season. He is just one of three players in the league with at least 12 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. Simmons won the C Spire Conerly Award on Nov. 27, which is presented to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi.

For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." All-access coverage is also available on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap.

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MBK Lamar Peters vs McNeese State

by Caleb Garner, Graduate Assistant/Communications
 
STARKVILLE – Lamar Peters pumped in 15 of his career-high 27 points during a 51-point explosion in the second half to ignite No. 22 Mississippi State to a 90-77 victory over McNeese State on Tuesday at Humphrey Coliseum.
 
The Bulldogs (7-1) notched their 19th straight home non-conference victory, while also earning their 11th halftime comeback victory under fourth-year head coach Ben Howland.
 
The New Orleans, Louisiana, native was lights-out from the field. He connected on a career-best eight three-pointers and 9-of-16 shooting overall. The eight treys tied a school single-game record and marked the fifth time in program history that a MSU player has drained eight three-pointers. The last time was Winsome Frazier against Missouri-Kansas City on Nov. 23, 2004.
 
While Peters boasted a career-high scoring night, he was just as selfish at creating scoring opportunities for his teammates and tallied five assists. He has dialed up double figures in five of his last six contests. 
 
Mississippi State had to fend off a strong first-half shooting performance by the Cowboys (2-6), who shot 65.5 percent in the opening half to go into the locker room with a three-point advantage. The second 20 minutes was a much different story as the Bulldogs ramped up the intensity on both ends of the floor and outscored McNeese State by a 51-35 margin.
 
MSU's second-half surge was highlighted by a 19 consecutive points and a 25-3 spurt over nearly an eight-minute span. The Bulldogs had one of their best nights of the Howland era from beyond the arc and drained 14 triples, the second-most over the last four seasons.  
 
Reggie Perry reeled off 15 points, nine rebound and two blocks off the bench in an efficient 18 minutes. He was 5-of-8 from the field and knocked down a pair of three-pointers.
 
Nick Weatherspoon added 11 points, two assists and two steals followed by Tyson Carter who tacked on eight of his 10 points during the first half.
 
Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon secured eight points apiece. Holman also pulled down a game-leading 11 rebounds and registered three blocks nearly en route to his third double-double of the season. Weatherspoon had his streak of seven straight games in double figures to start the season come to a close.
 
Mississippi State imposed its will on the glass and outrebounded the Cowboys by a 40-23 tally. The Bulldogs grabbed 19 of the game's 23 offensive boards and amassed a 24-4 edge in second-chance points.
 
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
"I thought we had some really good performances tonight especially by Lamar Peters and Reggie Perry. I thought Lamar [Peters] really played well tonight and shot the ball extremely well. He made a lot of good decisions. Reggie [Perry] had his best game of the year, 15 points and nine rebounds, and he took a charge. He did all the right things for us defensively. He played the longest stretch that he's played. He looked good. I was pumped up about that because we need him coming on like that."
 
"This was an important win. Now, it sets up a big two weeks, and two practices coming up for the game against Clemson on Saturday. Getting back to this game – this was an important win that we did a much better job. If we don't start with the defensive end, we're going to struggle. Tonight, we shot 44 percent and shot 45 percent from the three-point line. That was the huge stat offensively. I thought we got to the line a lot. We got to the line 10 times in the first half. We made a concerted effort to get it inside more which was good. We've got to be able to score down there."
 
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Things were nip-and-tuck in the opening half. A three-pointer by Tyson Carter gave the Bulldogs an 18-16 lead with 11:42 left. Back-to-back treys by Carter and Peters pushed the Bulldogs to a 26-19 advantage.
 
In the opening half, McNeese State shot 65.5 percent from the field. The Cowboys used those hot hands to stay in the contest. A three-pointer by James Harvey gave the Cowboys a 37-34 lead, and McNeese State carried that three-point spread into halftime at 42-39.
 
The Bulldogs defended much better during the second 20 minutes and allowed just four points in the paint after allowing 28 during the opening stanza.
 
With McNeese State up 50-47 at the 17:36 mark, Peters knotted the scoreboard with a trey courtesy of Quinndary Weatherspoon. That would kickstart at 19-0 run by the Maroon and White.
 
Abdul Ado, Reggie Perry and Quinndary Weatherspoon scored consecutive baskets for a 56-50 lead with 13:48 to go. Ado and Perry's buckets were on offensive putbacks.
 
Peters capped the flurry with a straight-line drive to the cup with a finger roll finish. Then, he found Perry for a two-handed jam and canned another trifecta to make it 65-50 with 11:59 on the clock.
 
The Bulldogs kept McNeese State at arm's length and down double figures the rest of the way.
 
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 29-of-65 shots from the field (44.6 percent), 14-of-31 shots from 3-point range (45.2 percent) and 18-of-25 shots from the foul line (72.0 percent).
 
The Cowboys hit 29-of-50 shots from the field (58.0 percent), 7-of-13 shots from 3-point range (53.8 percent) and 12-of-18 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).
 
Mississippi State had 14 assists and 10 turnovers, while McNeese State had 11 assists and 14 turnovers.
 
The Cowboys received 24 points and six rebounds from Malik Hinds, 14 points from Jarren Greenwood, 12 points from Will Robinson and 11 points and three assists from Shamarkus Kennedy.
 
UP NEXT
Mississippi State heads into a stretch of five consecutive games against teams who earned postseason berths and racked up a combined 126 victories during the 2017-18 season.
 
The Bulldogs take on 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 participant as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday. Tip time is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and available online courtesy of the WatchESPN app.  
 
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Decino Autry

by Taylor Shirey, Assistant Director/Communications

STARKVILLE - Week 13 of the NFL season has come to a close, and it is time to take a look at how the 18 former Bulldogs who have gone #FromStateToSundays fared.
 
Despite suffering a 6-0 loss to the Jaguars, defensive end Denico Autry turned in a career performance for the Indianapolis Colts. Autry racked up a total of seven tackles, including three for loss, and added three sacks, two forced fumbles and four total quarterback hits. His three sacks were a career high while his seven tackles were the second-most of his career. Rookie punter Logan Cooke punted seven times in the contest for Jacksonville, averaging 47.0 yards per punt attempt.
 
The Bulldog trio in Houston earned their ninth consecutive victory with a 29-13 triumph over the Cleveland Browns. Tight end Jordan Thomas collected three passes for a total of 32 yards and an 11-yard touchdown in the closing seconds of the first quarter. His four touchdowns this season tied Andre Johnson for the second-most touchdown catches in a season by a Texans rookie. Rookie offensive lineman Martians Rankin also saw action against Cleveland, while linebacker grabbed four tackles in the victory.
 
Quarterback Dak Prescott led the Dallas Cowboys to an impressive 13-10 triumph over the New Orleans Saints. Prescott completed 24 of his 28 pass attempts for 248 yards a touchdown while adding 22 yards on the ground.
 
November's AFC Defensive Player of the Month defensive tackle Chris Jones picked up a 40-33 victory at Oakland, earning four tackles and a sack in the start, marking the eighth consecutive game that the Kansas City Chief has recorded a sack in a game.  
 
Below is a list of former Mississippi State student-athletes who are currently with NFL teams. Please use the link to view season and career statistics from NFL.com.
 
NAME AT MSU TEAM YEARS IN LEAGUE POSITION SEASON STATS LAST WEEK
Denico Autry 2012-13 Indianapolis Colts 5 DE 8 G, 7 GS, 29 TKL, 22 TT, 7 AST, 6.0 SCK, 2 FF Started and collected seven tackles, including a season-high three sacks, and forced two fumbles at Jacksonville.
Hunter Bradley 2012-17 Green Bay Packers R LS 12 G Saw against versus Arizona.   
Brandon Bryant - # 2014-17 New York Jets R CB -- Member of Practice Squad.
Logan Cooke 2014-17 Jacksonville Jaguars R P 12 G, 62 Punts, 2,723 YDS, 43.9 AVG, LONG 61, IN20 26 Booted seven punts for 329 total yards (47.0 AVG) in a 6-0 victory over Indianapolis.  
Fletcher Cox*^ 2009-11 Philadelphia Eagles 7 DE 12 G, 12 GS, 35 TKL, 26 TT, 9 AST, 5.0 SCK, 1 PDEF Started and collected three tackles and a sack in 28-13 victory over Washington.
J.T. Gray - # 2014-17 New Orleans Saints R DB 5 G, 2 TKL, 1 TT, 1 AST Member of Practice Squad.
Gabe Jackson* 2009-13 Oakland Raiders 5 OG 12 G, 12 GS Earned start against Kansas City.
Chris Jones* 2013-15 Kansas City Chiefs 3 DT 12 G, 10 GS, 30 TKL, 27 TT, 3 AST, 10.0 SCK, 4 PDEF, 1 INT, 1 TD, 2 FF Started, earned four tackles and a sack in a 40-33 victory at Oakland.
Kyle Love 2006-09 Carolina Panthers 7 DT 12 G, 14 TKL, 8 TT, 6 AST, 0.5 SCK, 1 PDEF, 2 FF Grabbed two tackles, including a half sack, at Tampa Bay.
Benardrick McKinney* 2011-14 Houston Texans 4 LB 12 G, 12 GS, 84 TKL, 53 TT, 31 AST, 1.5 SCK, 2 PDEF, 1 FF Started and grabbed four tackles in a 29-13 victory over Cleveland.  
Pernell McPhee 2009-10 Washington Redskins 8 LB 9 G, 5 TKL, 4 TT, 1 AST, 1 PDEF Collected a tackle in action at Philadelphia.
Dak Prescott* 2011-2015 Dallas Cowboys 3 QB 12 G, 12 GS, 243-364, 2,675 YDS, 14 TD, QBR 95.4, 63 ATT, 301 YDS, 5 TD In a 13-10 triumph over New Orleans, completed 24 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown, while picking up 22 yards on the ground.
Martinas Rankin 2015-17 Houston Texans R OL 12 G, 3 GS Appeared in Houston's 29-13 victory over Cleveland.
Will Redmond 2012-15 Green Bay Packers 3 CB 3 G Saw action against Arizona.
Darius Slay*^ 2011-12 Detroit Lions 6 DB 11 G, 11 GS, 33 TKL, 32 TT, 1 AST, 9 PDEF, 2 INT Started and grabbed three tackles against the Los Angeles Rams.
Preston Smith* 2011-14 Washington Redskins 4 LB 12 G, 12 GS
39 TKL, 23 TT, 16 AST, 3.5 SCK, 3 PDEF, 1 INT
Started and collected three total tackles against Philadelphia.
Jordan Thomas 2016-17 Houston Texans R TE 12 G, 9 GS, 14 REC, 176 YDS, 4 TD Caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown in 29-13 victory over Cleveland.  
K.J. Wright* 2007-2010 Seattle Seahawks 8 LB 3 G, 3 GS, 14 TKL, 11 TT, 2 PDEF Inactive during Week 13.
 
 
*  - 2017 Regular Starter
^  - 2017 Pro Bowl Selection
IR - Injured Reserved 
# - Practice Squad

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