STARKVILLE – For the third straight season, the Razorbacks appear to be stuck on win No. 14 and skidding to the finish line.
Dee Bost had 18 points and Renardo Sidney 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Mississippi State to a 67-56 win over Arkansas at Humphrey Colisuem.
It was the third straight loss for the Razorbacks (14-9, 4-6), who have gone 14-16 and 14-18 the past two seasons under head coach John Pelphrey and scored 60 or less points for the third straight game.
"We had some good opportunities but we just could not score with the ball," Pelphrey said. " We had 13 layups that we missed and were not able to convert. We got nothing out of it. We did not get free throws out of it. Obviously, we had good execution to get the ball there, but that does not matter."
The Razorbacks are now 0-12 trying to get that 15th win over the last three seasons.
The win was Mississippi State's 11th straight over Arkansas inside Humphrey Coliseum and came without suspended leading scorer Ravern Johnson.
Riley Benock, another starter, was hampered by a shoulder injury, but came off the bench and signified his team's effort according to head coach Rick Stansbury.
"It was really a gutsy effort," Stansbury said. "This was about finding a way to defend the home court tonight. Really we weren't playing on having Riley (Benock) tonight. It was until after the starting lineups that he told me 'Coach, I can give you something'."
Marcus Britt was the lone double figure scorer for the Razorbacks while Rotnei Clarke and Julysess Nobles 9 each and Delvon Johnson 6 points and 7 rebounds.
"You always have to bring your A game, especially playing here in Starkville," Britt said. "We never do so well down here but that's how it is. We just have to play harder and step up our game."
Marshawn Powell (4, points 5 rebounds) scored all of his points in the first three minutes and then went scoreless the rest of the way.
Arkansas wiped out a 33-28 halftime deficit to take a 36-35 lead on Clarke's 3-pointer, but Mississippi State responded with a 23-6 run.
"Then we went through a stretch where Dee Bost kind of got it going and was really, really attacking in transition," Pelphrey said.
The Bulldogs went up 60-45 when Kodi Augustus hit a free throw at the 8:51 mark.
They would score only one point over the next eight minutes and did not have a field goal during the final 9:39 of the game.
But the Razorbacks could get no closer than 60-53 on Clarke's free throw with 3:02 left.
"About the six or seven minute mark, we got our defense going and starting making some plays and got out in transition," Pelphrey said. "We had some good opportunities right there at the bucket, but wasn't able to convert those and then that made it tough the rest of the way. But, boy, we had our chances right there."
Clarke was 3-of-11 from the field, 2-of-6 from free throw line while being hounded by Jalen Steele, starting in place of Johnson.
"In the first half, I had the same amount of looks but I wasn't able to knock down the shots," Clarke said. "When I came out in the second half, my teammates found me again and fortunately I was able to get these shots to go in. We missed too many easy shots tonight and that killed us."
Stansbury was proud of his defender.
"The story of the game may have been the defensive effort by Jalen," Stansbury said. "He did as a good a job as you can do on Rotnei . Other than two baskets to start the second half, Clark was a not a factor in the game."
Steele said he did his homework via video.
"The coaches gave me a video four days ago from last year," Steele said. " I have been watching it since then. I knew I would have to lock down hard on him. I felt prepared to defend him."
Arkansas, who will spend the night in Starkville because of 20-plus inches of snow, shot just 33.3 percent from the field on the night.
"We had some good looks all night long," Pelphrey said. "…We had our chances. We just have to step up and make a shot."
The Razorbacks were also outrebounded 41-28, which allowed the Bulldogs to overcome 21 turnovers.
"I thought we had some good opportunities in the second half, but couldn't capitalize," Pelphrey said. "We took care of the basketball and forced 21 turnovers, but I was surprised we didn't get more out of them.
Arkansas will try once again to get its 15th win when LSU visits Bud Walton Arena for a 12:30 p.m. game on Saturday.
Mississippi St. 67, Arkansas 56
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