STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon ignited Mississippi State's offense in the second half as the Bulldogs outscored UT Martin 53-28 en route to a dominating 92-61 win at Humphrey Coliseum.
Holman recorded his second-consecutive double-double with career highs in points (21) and rebounds (12), while Weatherspoon also added 21 points.
The Bulldogs (9-1) shot 67.7 percent in the second half and extended a 39-33 lead at the break to as many as 38.
“It did not feel, going into halftime, that it would end up being a 30-point game,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “It was our defense in the second half that really spearheaded that.”
In the opening frame with the game tied at 30-apiece on a jumper by Fatodd Lewis, MSU answered with a layup by Nick Weatherspoon, who had had 11 points, 2 steals and 4 rebounds.
From that point forward, the Skyhawks (3-8) would get no closer.
The Bulldogs, who return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Little Rock, opened the second half on a 19-3 run and took a 58-36 lead on two free throws by Quinndary Weatherspoon.
UT Martin closed the gap to 63-50 on a 3-pointer by Matthew Butler, but MSU responded with an 18-0 run to push the lead to 81-50. A layup by KeyShawn Feazell gave Mississippi State its biggest lead at 90-52 with 3:14 to play.
“Holman and (Abdul) Ado did a wonderful job on defense, and we got 24 rebounds out of them,” Howland said. “Holman had another double-double tonight, and he is playing very good basketball right now. I thought we played very unselfishly tonight, with 21 assists on 34 baskets.”
Ado hauled in a career-high 12 rebounds to go with 6 points, 3 blocks and 1 steal.
Butler led UTM with 22 points.
For the game, the Bulldogs were 34-67 shooting, 11-33 beyond the arc, while UTM was 24-65, 9-28. MSU also forced 14 turnovers and collected 8 steals and won the battle of the boards, 52-29.