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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: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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