MSU 84, Arkansas 60

Mississippi State bombs in 11 3-pointers and routs Arkansas 84-60 Wednesday night in a costly loss for the Razorbacks in Starkville, Miss.

As we all know, dogs bury a lot of bones.

In this case, the Bulldogs may have buried an entire bunch of Razorbacks while it was raining 3-pointers at The Hump.

Charles Rhodes had 19 points and Jamont Gordon 18 as Mississippi State hit 11 3-pointers and hammered the University of Arkansas 84-60 Wednesday night in SEC basketball action at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.

"This is the first time I think in the last two years that we have had a game like this where a team got on a run and we couldn't put the fire out," Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. "Our defense wasn't there and our offensively was just out of rhythm and out of sync."

The Bulldogs (14-10, 5-6) stayed within a game of first place Ole Miss (17-8, 6-5) while the Razorbacks (15-10, 4-7) took a body blow to both their hopes of winning the SEC West and even getting on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Arkansas hosts Ole Miss on Saturday at 4:06 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.

"We are a better basketball team than we showed today," Heath said. "When we were in the locker room we had a heart-to-heart talk about some of the things that are hurting our team – between being our togetherness better, between being a team that fights harder, those are things we definitely have to improve over the next couple of days."

Charles Thomas had 14 points and Sean McCurdy tied a career-high with 10 points in his first start of the season as Arkansas shot just 36 percent from the field and contributed 18 turnovers – including five on its first eight possessions.

"I think what happened to us was just not executing at the level we need to – getting open, setting good screens, good hard cuts and things of that nature," Heath said. "They took some things away from us in that first half and the 10 turnovers really hurt us and set us back. I got on to my wing players. I got on Patrick and Sonny (Weems) – 9 turnovers between those guys is too much."

McCurdy also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 turnovers in a season-high 25 minutes.

"I thought Sean did a nice job for us tonight with some solid play," Heath said ."I felt Charles after a slow start got things going pretty good, but that 3-point shot that Mississippi State had going for them in the first half at 70 percent – between our defense and their lights out shooting, we just didn't have an answer."

McCurdy and Vincent Hunter got starts because Heath benched starters Gary Ervin – who was playing in his first game in Starkville since he transferred from there - and Weems and reserve Stefan Welsh for breaking curfew.

"Sean over the last week and a half or two weeks has been playing with a lot of confidence (in practice) and I have been really proud of him for sticking with everything," Heath said. "It was good to see him come out there on the floor and under adverse situation – thrown into the starting lineup in hostile environment at Mississippi State, which is always a tough place to play. He responded very well and we definitely want to feed off of that.

"He seems to have a little moxie about himself when he is playing with our confidence to help our team," Heath said.

Ironically Arkansas got off to one of its better starts on the road this season with a 5-0 lead, but Mississippi State scored the next eight and the Razorbacks never saw the lead again.

Beverley added nine points while Steven Hill blocked 6 points, 8 rebounds and 5 shots even while being limited to 19 minutes by his hamstring injury and Heath's decision to keep him out when the game turned into a blowout.

"He (Hill) is unbelievable," Heath said. "He is a warrior, he is a champion. For a guy to be playing with the kind of injury he has and giving that type of effort says a lot about his character."

Arkansas has just five regular season games left – three at home and two on the road beginning with the home game against Ole Miss on Saturday.

"We have been pleased with our crowd and they have been great to us," Heath said. "I think the energy in the building will really help us. A win under our belt would do a lot for us. Ole Miss is playing great basketball right now. We need to protect our home court and try to get another win under our belt."

Steven Hill blocks a dunk attempt by Charles Rhodes Michael Washington goes up for a shot over Jamont Gordon.

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