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#18 Dogs Fall Flat In Debut To Rider 88-74

At least the new jewelry was nice and shiny. Because the highlight of Mississippi State's season-opening event turned out to be the pre-game ceremony with rings presented to the 2009 SEC Tournament champions. Visiting Rider applauded politely before tip-off, then went about spoiling the rest of the evening with a 88-74 victory over the #18-ranked Bulldogs.

"First game of the season and get upset like that," senior guard Barry Stewart said. "That ain't how you want to start it off." Not at all. Not a season where a veteran lineup of proven performers is expected to challenge for championships, and not simply the conference tournament this time around. Of course there is plenty of season ahead before title-time arrives, but that made an opening-night...

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