Mississippi State Basketball: Bulldogs Fall to Clemson at the Space Coast Challenge
Mississippi State Basketball opened the season against Clemson in the Space Coast Challenge Friday night. The Bulldogs were without point guard Iverson Molinar and true freshman Deivon Smith started his first collegiate game along with another rue freshman, Cameron Matthews. The rest of the starting lineup included: D.J. Stewart, Abdul Ado, and Tolu Smith.
The night started great for the Bulldogs as the Bulldogs raced out to a 7-0 start. The last lead Mississippi State was 11-8. It would be all Clemson for the rest of the night. Clemson would go on an 18-8 run to take a 26-19 halftime lead.
Clemson would extend their lead to sixteen points at 46-30. The Bulldogs would cut into the lead in the second half, but it would not be enough to overtake Clemson. The Bulldogs would fall to the Tigers 53-42.
Few Bright Spots on a Bad Shooting Night
The Bulldogs and Tigers both shot the ball poorly on the night. Mississippi State shot 30% from the field and three-point land. The Bulldogs also shot very poorly from the charity stripe, going 8-27.
Mississippi State did outrebound Clemson 42-37. The Bulldogs also outhustled Clemson on the offensive glass 16-10. The offensive rebound advantage allowed the Bulldogs to lead in second-chance points and points in the paint.
D.J. Stewart and Tolu Smith led the Bulldogs with twelve points apiece. Smith also added ten rebounds to finish with a double-double. Cameron Matthews finished with eight points and knocked down both of his three-point shots.
Bulldogs to Face Liberty in 3rd Place Game
Mississippi State will now face Liberty in the third-place game today at 6:00 PM EST. The Bulldogs last played the Liberty Flames in the NCAA Tournament in March of 2019.
The Bulldogs were the favored team, but the Flames would come back and oust the Bulldogs in an upset. Liberty fell to Purdue in the early game 77-64. The Bulldogs can avenge that loss later today.
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