STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Tyson Carter pumped in a season’s best 22 points, and Quinndary Weatherspoon added another 20-point performance to spearhead a 68-49 victory over Missouri on Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (21-7, 9-6 SEC) extended their winning streak to five consecutive games, the program’s longest streak in SEC action dating back to Jan. 9-26, 2008. The win also allowed Mississippi State to move into a fifth place tie with South Carolina and pull within a half-game of Ole Miss for fourth place in the SEC standings.
MSU played suffocating defense and limited the Tigers (12-15, 3-12 SEC) to their lowest point total of the season and a 32.7 shooting clip from the field. The 49 points also marked the second-lowest point total for a SEC opponent under fourth-year coach Ben Howland. MSU held Arkansas to 46 points on Feb. 9, 2016 and improved to 29-2 fueled by 16 consecutive wins when holding the opposition to under 60 points with Howland at the helm.
For Carter, he was 7-of-12 from the floor and drained a season-high tying four three-pointers. He tallied 14 of the 22 points in the first half.
Weatherspoon notched his 13th outing of 20-plus points and hit on 7-of-11 shooting aided by a 3-for-4 mark from beyond the three-point arc. The senior guard eclipsed 1,900 career points as MSU moved to 26-3 and has won 18 of its last 19 when Weatherspoon post 20 or more points.
Reggie Perry, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, put together an impressive showing with 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds nearly missing out on his seventh double-double of the season. He was a spotless 7-of-7 at the free throw line for the second straight game.
Taking care of the basketball also was key to MSU’s success as the Bulldogs committed just eight turnovers, while dishing out 12 assists. Lamar Peters handed out five assists and grabbed a career-high six steals. He was a stout defensive stopper on Missouri’s top scorer Jordan Geist who was held to seven points on 3-of-9 from the field.
The Bulldogs once again got productive minutes from Robert Woodard II. He tallied nine points, four rebounds and two blocks. Abdul Ado displayed tough defense in the paint and swatted away five blocks to bring his block total to 11 over his last two games. Aric Holman tacked on three rebounds to complete MSU’s seven-man rotation.
Missouri compiled a 39-28 rebounding advantage and scored 16 of the game’s 20 points on second chance opportunities. The Tigers also secured a 33-9 edge in bench points.
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
“I’m really excited about the win for our team. Great win, a hard-fought win … I really appreciate everybody that came today and supported our team. We had good support. I thought we got off to a great start in terms of jumping out on them and kind of lost the focus. I think we were up as many as 15 in the first half so to have them cut it to seven gave them momentum and also confidence … This was huge for us to get [SEC win] number nine and fifth in a row. I thought that our defense was just spectacular.”
“Lamar [Peters] did a good job guarding [Jordan] Geist all game. Geist is their leading scorer, best player. I thought he was fantastic. Abdul [Ado] had five blocks. This now gives him 11 in the last two games. He’s really doing a great job. Reggie Perry’s defense inside. Again, Lamar was outstanding. He’s really become a good defender, not a just a great scorer and rebounder. Obviously, Tyson [Carter] had it going, really did a great job and made big shots.”
“He’s [Tyson Carter] had a big role here in the past. He started many games. I’m as excited about how he’s doing defensively. Our team defense – the concepts have been great. Like the first play of the game, he got his hand on the ball. We stole it, went the other way and scored two points. He’s a great work-ethic guy, and he’s in phenomenal condition. Those seven guys that played tonight are unbelievably well-conditioned right now because of all the minutes and how hard they’re playing. Our five-game winning streak is directly related to how we’re playing defensively.”
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Bulldogs started things off with a 6-0 run courtesy of two Reggie Perry free throws, a Quinndary Weatherspoon runner in the lane and a Tyson Carter driving layup.
Ahead 11-7 with 12:52 remaining, Mississippi State ripped off 16 of the next 21 points over the next 5:46 off the clock to extend the lead to 15 points.
Weatherspoon opened the flurry with a three-pointer. Then, Carter and Perry tacked on nine of the next 13 points to stretch the lead to 27-12 at the 6:46 mark.
Missouri would respond with a 12-2 spurt of its own to draw back to 29-24 with 2:26 left. Carter would help the Bulldogs go to the locker room with 33-26 lead after two free throws in the closing seconds.
The Tigers would stay within striking defense before Mississippi State put the game away with a 21-7 finishing kick over the last 7:58 of the contest.
The Bulldogs seized the momentum courtesy of a 12 consecutive points to extend a 50-44 advantage to 62-44 with 3:49 to go in the contest.
Carter and Weatherspoon dialed up treys 51 seconds apart. Then, Woodard II bookended the run with consecutive layups.
For the contest, MSU hit 23-of-48 shots from the field (47.9 percent), 8-of-20 shots from three-point range (40.0 percent) and 14-of-18 shots from the foul line (77.8 percent).
Missouri countered with a 17-of-52 mark from the field (32.7 percent), a 7-of-24 mark from three-point range (29.2 percent) and an 8-of-13 mark from the foul line (61.5 percent).
Mississippi State had 12 assists and eight turnovers, while the Tigers had eight assists and 15 turnovers.
Missouri was led by Torrence Watsn and Jeremiah Tilmon who accounted for 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench.
The Bulldogs head into the March portion of their schedule with a trip to Auburn on Saturday. Tip time is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPNU and available online through the WatchESPN platform.