STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) — NCAA officials have agreed to grant waivers to college basketball teams wanting to play an extra exhibition game with the sole purpose of benefiting Hurricane Irma victims, and Mississippi State is one of many programs taking advantage of this opportunity.
The Bulldogs, under the direction of third-year coach Ben Howland, will host Big Ten foe Nebraska at 1 p.m. this Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum, with representatives from the MSU Student Relief Fun and Salvation Army collecting monetary donations to benefit Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
Admission to the game is free, and doors will open at noon with standard basketball game security screening procedures in place.
“This is a great opportunity to help so many people in need who were affected by the hurricane,” third-year MSU coach Ben Howland said. “Hurricane Irma was devastating, and our hearts and prayers have been with everyone as they have dealt with horrific and tragic loss. This is a chance for us to do our part in helping those in need.”
In regular-season play, the two teams have met just once, with MSU claiming a 69-66 win in the Ford Far West Classic in Portland, Ore., in 1995.
Under the direction of sixth-year coach Tim Miles, the Cornhuskers return nine lettermen, including four players who started at least nine games from last year’s 12-19 squad.
“I so appreciate Nebraska, Coach Miles and their administration for their incredible willingness to support this effort, as well as our staff here at Mississippi State. It’s going to be a fun day for two Power 5 teams to play an exhibition game and get a head start on the season.”
The Bulldogs posted a 16-16 ledger a year ago and return 10 lettermen and four starters. They open the regular season on Nov. 10 against Alabama State at 5:30 p.m. at the Hump.
Nebraska opens its season on Nov. 11 at home against Eastern Illinois.
“Hurricane Irma was a devastating storm which affected many people in the Southeast and in the Caribbean,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “Our goal is that we can raise a lot of money for those who need it and have a great time competing against Coach (Ben) Howland and his team. It is a great platform for our two programs to raise awareness and help people in need. We look forward to Sunday afternoon and it should be an exciting game.”