STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon pumped in a combined 55 points to ignite No. 19 Mississippi State past the century mark in a dominant 103-81 victory over BYU to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (12-1) shot 54.3 percent from the field fueled by the senior duo’s 20-for-31 shooting clip. Mississippi State extended its SEC-best winning streak to nine consecutive games and its SEC-leading non-conference home winning mark to 22 straight outings. The Bulldogs were an impressive 20-of-22 at the free throw line.
Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon sparked a five-player attack in double figures. Holman fired in 19 of his career-best 28 points during the second half and canned a trio of three-pointers. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists.
Quinndary Weatherspoon dialed up a season’s best 27 points, five rebounds and three assists. The 27 points matched Weatherspoon’s second-highest scoring output and enabled him to move into eighth place on MSU’s all-time scoring list. He has amassed 1,607 career points and surpassed Barry Stewart (2007-08-09-10). The Bulldogs are 20-2 and have won 12 in a row when Weatherspoon posts 20-plus points.
Another consistent factor has been Mississippi State’s bench play, which outscored the Cougars (8-7) by a 30-13 margin. Tyson Carter and Reggie Perry did the heavy lifting with a combined 27 points and 13 rebounds. Carter also contributed a game-high four steals on the defensive end.
Nick Weatherspoon added 11 points, two assists and two steals in his 24 minutes of action, while Abdul Ado registered a solid all-around effort with seven points, a season-high four blocks, three rebounds and two assists.
Lamar Peters handed out a game-leading six assists to go along with three steals. The New Orleans, Louisiana, native has tallied at least five assists in 10 straight games for the Bulldogs.
T.J. Gray and E.J. Datcher also factored into the scoring column late in the contest with Gray’s layup marking his first points of the season.
Mississippi State won the rebounding battle for the eight consecutive game and claimed a 40-31 edge over BYU on the glass. The Bulldogs took advantage of 13 offensive rebounds en route to 29 of the game’s 42 second-chance points. MSU controlled the interior with 54 of its 103 points coming in the paint.
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
“I thought we did a good job sharing the ball and moving the ball today. You could see – with our team, you can't just key on one guy and expect to beat us. Lamar [Peters] did a lot of things to help us win. He didn't even score a point today, and he's our second leading scorer. He really moved the ball well in the second half when we broke it open to get it to 20-plus. I thought Aric Holman, offensively, really played well today and played very confidently. The same thing with Q [Quinndary Weatherspoon], very efficient. When you go 20-for-31 from the field with your two seniors, that's positive. That's good. I thought Reggie [Perry] and Tyson [Carter] gave us big lifts today. It's like having seven starters with those guys. They can easily be starting just as well as coming off the bench.”
“It’s awesome. I was so excited about our crowd today. I was expecting it to be sparse this time of year. Our marketing team did a phenomenal job of getting the word out and getting fans here to support this team. I’m so thankful and grateful to the fans. These kids deserve the support they were shown today. They work so hard. They wear Mississippi State jerseys with great pride. It’s really exciting, because I feel like we’re going to have great support here our next nine home games. That home court advantage makes such a huge difference for our team and our players. I’m really, really appreciative.”
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After a frantic first 10 minutes of play, the Bulldogs broke open a 23-23 tie with a 13-0 spurt.
Quinndary Weatherspoon provided back-to-back layups to break the tie. Then, Tyson Carter followed with a consecutive three-point play. A trey from the left wing proceeded an old school 3-point play off a transition layup to make it 33-23 with 8:01 left. Nick Weatherspoon got into the act with a three-point play off his own after he was fouled on a midrange jumper.
The Bulldogs stretched it to as much as 15 at 42-27 after a Quinndary Weatherspoon turnaround jumper off an inbounds play at the 5:49 mark. Mississippi State took a 48-38 advantage into the locker room after being able to connect on only two field goals over the last five minutes.
BYU got within single digits during the early moments of the second half but would get no closer than eight points.
The Bulldogs would regain their momentum on back-to-back treys courtesy of Quinndary Weatherspoon and Tyson Carter to bring the scoreboard to 60-46 with 15:20 left.
Ahead 71-55 at the 11:19 mark, an eight-point flurry capped by consecutive and-ones from Abdul Ado and Quinndary Weatherspoon would push the advantage out to 24 points.
Mississippi State would top the 100-point mark for the third time under Ben Howland courtesy of a Carter floater in the lane with 3:31 to go.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 38-of-70 shots from the field (54.3 percent), 7-of-21 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 20-of-22 shots from the foul line (90.9 percent).
BYU hit 26-of-60 shots from the field (43.3 percent), 5-of-20 shots from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 24-of-29 shots from the foul line (82.8 percent).
MSU had 18 assists and 19 turnovers, while the Cougars had 14 assists and 19 turnovers.
BYU received 25 points from Yoeli Childs, 14 points and six rebounds from T.J. Haws and 13 points from Zac Seljaas.