STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Lamar Peters scored a team-leading 17 points and was one of five players to reach double figures as the No. 18 Mississippi State men's basketball team defeated Georgia Southwestern 88-57 in an exhibition contest Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum.
Peters turned in a solid all-around effort with 17 points, five assists and four steals followed by Aric Holman's 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Tyson Carter chipped in 15 points fueled by a quartet of three-pointers, while Reggie Perry and Robert Woodard II each posted strong MSU debuts. Perry pumped in 12 points and grabbed a team-leading 12 rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Woodard II tacked on 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Nick Weatherspoon notched seven points and seven rebounds whereas Abdul Ado garnered five points and five rebounds.
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
"It was good to get a game under the lights for the first time this season. I thought that our defense was outstanding, especially early in the game. They really struggled to score against our defense. You could see our guys were really playing hard. I think our guys are bigger and stronger. Obviously, the experience of having veterans back in our rotations really did a good job out there. I thought that we did a good job sharing the basketball. We shot the ball well from three. The first half we were 9-for-15 ... You can see that we've improved in that area. I'm excited about that. Now, we're getting ready for the gauntlet here, as we get ready to play five games in 13 days."
"You look at Robert [Woodard II] and Reggie [Perry], I haven't seen many freshmen that look like that. They don't look like your normal freshmen. They have been blessed, and they have good genes - good Bulldog genes. They're only going to get better. It's really exciting for me as their coach and for fans of Bulldog basketball. I really like DJ Stewart. You look at him athletically, he is pretty much a freak athletically. His ability to run, jump, lateral quickness and length. He has a very bright future. I love that trio of freshmen that we have.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Holman and Peters hit back-to-back 3-point baskets to start the scoring. The Bulldogs scored the game's first 14 points and held the Hurricanes without a point for better than seven minutes to start the contest.
A 14-1 run would later push the lead to 30-5 with 9:32 left in the opening half.
Carter had 10 points, while Peters had nine points and both Woodard II and Perry each had eight points in a 48-point first half. The Bulldogs led 48-25 at halftime.
Mississippi State held a comfortable lead throughout the second half. A 6-0 run capped by a Perry dunk off an offensive rebound ran the lead to 69-39 with 12:19 remaining.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 34-of-66 shots from the field (51.5 percent), 13-of-29 shots from 3-point range (44.8 percent) and 7-of-13 shots from the foul line (53.8 percent). The Hurricanes hit 20-of-66 shots from the field (30.3 percent), 8-of-29 shots from 3-point range (27.6 percent) and 9-of-14 shots from the foul line (64.3 percent).
MSU held a 50-35 rebounding advantage and handed out 16 assists against 14 turnovers.
Mississippi State embarks on its challenging non-conference slate which features nine teams who reached postseason play and finished among the top three of their conferences a season ago.
The Bulldogs will begin the 2018-19 campaign with a three-game homestand and face off against Austin Peay with Friday's tip time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT from Humphrey Coliseum. The Governors are led by Terry Taylor, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Freshman of the Year, who amassed 15.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game last season. Friday's season opener will be carried online only courtesy of SEC Network + and the WatchESPN app.