Jan 2, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Travis Daniels (23) and Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) chase after the loose ball during the game at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Mississippi State and Florida State were both desperate to win a game when they enetered Humphrey Coliseum. The Seminoles were 8-5 and trying to recapture some of the magic and energy after their early season win over in state rival Florida. The Bulldogs have been reeling losing games to teams that even the worst of Power 5 conference teams should be able to beat easily. This time, the Bulldogs would walk away with the win.
Mississippi State’s men’s team needed a win to restore faith in the program after some ugly losses earlier in the year. The Bulldogs lost games to Arkansas State, Tulane, South Carolina Upstate and McNeese State. A win over a Power 5 Conference team before starting the SEC slate of games would do wonders for the moral of the team and the fans. That’s exactly what happened on Friday night.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
The first half of the game was a defensive struggle. The Bulldogs led for most of the first half, but a late surge by the Seminoles would put the Bulldogs behind by 3 points as they went to the locker room at half time. It was starting to look like all the other games played by the Bulldogs.
Florida State would quickly push their lead out to 5 on the first possession of the second half, but after that, the Bulldogs chipped away and controlled most of the game from that point forward. The Bulldogs would score 40 points total in the 2nd half, and the come away victorious.
IJ Ready was the player of the game. He led the team with 14 points and 3 steals. The Bulldogs needed a spark offensively, and Ready provided exactly what they needed. Travis Daniels played well adding 12 points and 5 rebounds.
The biggest difference in the game was Mississippi State took care of the basketball. The Bulldogs have been plagued with turnovers all season long, but only committed 12 in the game tonight. Simply taking care of the basketball could solve a number of problems for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs next play on Wednesday against the Vols of Tennessee in Starkville. That game will tell us a lot about whether or not this is a turning point for the team or a blip on the radar. I know we are hoping for the former and not the latter.