Mississippi State led from start to finish on Saturday, defeating in-state rival Ole Miss 66-56 at the Pavilion. The Bulldogs moved back above .500 at 12-11 (6-8 SEC) with the win, and Ole Miss dropped to 12-9 (7-7 SEC).
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 13-4 lead after Abdul Ado completed an old-fashioned three-point play. Deivon Smith added another hoop-and-harm with 9:28 to go to give MSU its biggest lead of the first half at 22-9.
Wire to Wire Win for Mississippi State Basketball
The Rebels got within five late in the second half before Iverson Molinar was hacked on a three-point attempt and drained all three at the line. Jarkel Joiner went coast to coast to end the half, cutting Mississippi State’s lead to 31-25 heading into the break.
The Bulldogs continued to play well in the second half, extending their lead to 41-32 at the under-16 timeout. The Rebels battled back and got within five at 43-38, but Mississippi State responded with a 12-2 run to take control.
Matthew Murrell‘s three with 4:40 to play got Ole Miss within single digits at 57-48. The Rebels continued to make a run in the final few minutes, and KJ Buffen‘s free throws cut State’s lead to just six with 1:37 left.
DJ Stewart answered on the other end with a big bucket in the lane to stretch the lead back to eight. An emphatic slam from Ado capped off a solid day for Ben Howland’s squad, as Mississippi State left the Pavilion with a 66-56 win over Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs finished with three scorers in double-figures. Molinar led the way with 17, with Stewart and Tolu Smith adding 16 and 12, respectively. Abdul Ado had an impressive game as well, finishing with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Ole Miss struggled offensively, with KJ Buffen being the only scorer in double-figures with 13. Star guard Devontae Shuler shot an abysmal 1-15 from the field and finished with just four points. The Rebels shot 38.2% from the field as a team.
Mississippi State will be back at home on Wednesday night, hosting South Carolina at the Hump. The game will tip at 6 PM CT and will be on the SEC Network.
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