Weatherspoons lead Bulldogs to 81-76 victory over South Carolina

The Bulldogs won an SEC road game — and consecutive league games — for the first time all season.

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 10:52 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — When Mississippi State needed help at South Carolina, there was always a Weatherspoon there to provide it.


Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half while young brother Nick Weatherspoon scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs to an 81-76 victory at South Carolina on Wednesday night.

Quinndary Weatherspoon twice accounted for three points after the Gamecocks cut a nine-point lead to one, the first time when he was fouled behind the arc and made all three free throws, the last time on a more traditional shot that extended Mississippi State's lead to 73-69 with less than five minutes left.

"I had a slow first half and I just wanted to come out and play as hard as I could to get a win," Quinndary Weatherspoon said.

Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said Weatherspoon, a 6-foot-4 junior, is not rushing things, and letting the game come to him. "That's a sign," Howland said, "of a guy who's matured."

Although, it's not so bad to play freshman Nick Weatherspoon, who had 13 points in the opening half including a driving layup right before the half that sent the Bulldogs (16-6, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) into the locker up by one instead of trailing.

"Can't say enough great things about little brother because he's a good player," Howland said.

The Bulldogs won an SEC road game — and consecutive league games — for the first time all season. Mississippi State also ended a four-game losing streak at South Carolina (13-9, 4-5), which dated back to 2012.

The Weatherspoons were a big reason why.

Quinndary Weatherspoon caught fire after the break, hitting four of six shots including two from behind the arc. He had seven points in an 18-8 run midway through the period as Mississippi State built a 57-48 lead.

"That's just a good player doing what good players do," Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said.

The Gamecocks rallied back and cut the lead to a point several times, the last one on Hassani Gravett's driving layup with 4:50 to go. But Quinndary Weathspoon answered with a 3-pointer and the Gamecocks could not get closer than three points the rest of the way.

Wesley Myers had a chance to tie the game in the final minute with South Carolina trailing 77-74, but his 3-pointer was off the mark with 27 seconds left. Aric Holman followed with a thunder dunk for the Bulldogs about 10 seconds later to end the drama.

It's the 13th time in 22 games that a Weatherspoon has led the scoring for Mississippi State.

Frank Booker had a career high 25 points to lead the Gamecocks, who have lost three of their past four games and all of them at home. Booker's previous high was 22 against Middle Tennessee in January 2017 when he played for Florida Atlantic.

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs didn't get to the foul line much, but made their chances count. Mississippi State shot 12 fewer free throws than South Carolina, but made 14 of their 15 tries. It's a solid formula to close out tight games.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks appeared a bit sluggish in the first game against a non-ranked opponent in two-and-half weeks. Starting point guard Wesley Myers, a big reason South Carolina beat Top 25 teams Kentucky and Florida, had four turnovers and zero assists the first 20 minutes. He finished with five turnovers and one assist.

MUCH ADO

Mississippi State freshman Abdul Ado had a career high 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four blocks before fouling out with less than three minutes to go. Howland said it was the 6-foot-11 Ado's best overall showing this season. Howland also apologized to Ado when he didn't get any postgame questions. "That okay," Ado said. "I got the win."

MISSING MINAYA

Freshman Justin Minaya played the most minutes of all South Carolina guards because of his tenacity and ability to play on-the-ball defense. But Minaya sat out with an ankle he sprained in practice. Martin wasn't sure how soon Minaya might return

UP NEXT

Mississippi State starts a two-game home stand against Georgia on Saturday night

South Carolina hits the road to play Texas A&M on Saturday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
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Washington5341134
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Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540083

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798481529
Mobile41283809
Madison35157506
Tuscaloosa25925455
Shelby25302249
Montgomery24723593
Baldwin21411310
Lee15993172
Calhoun14574319
Morgan14425280
Etowah13925353
Marshall12280225
Houston10648282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10070151
St. Clair9948245
Cullman9768194
Lauderdale9460243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8341176
Walker7261278
Autauga7005108
Jackson6840112
Blount6773139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5581118
Dale4877113
Russell445738
Chilton4373113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394877
Chambers3596123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303098
Winston275873
Bibb264764
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219169
Fayette212862
Henry189943
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178141
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
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Perry107826
Sumter105032
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