Mississippi State Basketball: Mississippi State 75, South Carolina 59
Mississippi State used a big second half and 29 points from DJ Stewart to cruise past South Carolina 75-59 on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs improved to 11-9 (5-6 SEC), while the Gamecocks fell to 5-7 (3-5 SEC).
A pregame technical foul on Keondre Montgomery allowed the Gamecocks to get on the board before the tip, and South Carolina jumped out to an early 11-5 lead at the under-16 timeout. Mississippi State then responded with an 8-0 run to grab the lead.
Quinten Post’s hook shot capped off a 13-3 Bulldog run that gave Mississippi State a 36-24 lead with three minutes to play in the first half. The Gamecocks, however, scored the final six points of the half to cut MSU’s advantage to 36-30 going into the locker room.
Stewart and Iverson Molinar spearheaded the offensive attack in the opening 20 minutes. Stewart had 15 points, with Molinar pouring in 10.
Three consecutive treys answered Deivon Smith’s three to open up the second half by South Carolina to tie the game at 39 apiece. Jermaine Couisnard’s and-one gave the Gamecocks a 47-45 lead, but Stewart responded with a three on the other end to regain the lead for MSU.
The Bulldogs did not look back from that point on. A 20-4 run that was bookended by Stewart threes put Mississippi State in front 68-51 with 6:51 to go. MSU led by as many as 18 before cruising to a 75-59 road win.
Stewart finished with 29 points on 4-6 from three, with Molinar finishing in double-figures with 16. Tolu Smith added nine points and eight rebounds, and Derek Fountain scored nine points on 2-2 from outside in 29 minutes off the bench.
Mississippi State shot it well on Saturday, shooting 46.4% from the field and hitting 10-19 from three. MSU also outrebounded South Carolina 46-30.
South Carolina was led by AJ Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant, who posted 13 points each. Seventh Woods finished with 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers. The Gamecocks struggled from the field, shooting just 31.1% and 20% from three.
Mississippi State will be back at the Hump on Wednesday night, welcoming the LSU Tigers for an SEC contest. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CT and will be on ESPNU.
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