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August 14, 2008Mississippi State men's basketball players Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey returned to Starkville this week after making an impact on and off the court during a week-long mission and basketball trip to the Dominican Republic through SCORE International.
Opening the tour against the Dominican professional team on national television, Johnson, a sophomore from Lyon, Miss., notched a team-high17 points in a 77-49 loss to the squad that included NBA players Larry Turner, Al Horford and Fransico Garcia. The following night, Johnson added 13 points and Bailey chipped in eight rebounds in the team's lone victory of the tour, a 67-65 decision over San Domingo.
The squad followed the victory with a tough 73-68 loss to the Dominican Republic National "B" Team. Johnson added eight points and three rebounds in the contest, while Bailey, a second-year forward from New Orleans, contributed seven points and four rebounds. The SCORE group, which consisted of five players from the Southeastern Conference, closed out the trip with a nationally-televised game against the combined Dominican national team. The team led into the third quarter, but the Dominican squad rallied for a 66-60 decision despite three straight three-point baskets from Bailey in the closing minutes.
Off the court, the squad had the opportunity to distribute bags of food to a village outside of San Pedro and visit a local orphanage.