MSU Rallies For Hoops Victory Vs. Auburn

A report on the Southeastern Conference basketball game matching Auburn at Mississippi State is featured.

Starkville, Miss.--Mississippi State rallied from a six-point halftime deficit and pulled away in the final minutes for an 87-76 SEC men's basketball victory over Auburn on Saturday.

The Tigers slipped to 12-8 overall and 2-3 in the conference while the Bulldogs improved to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the SEC.

The difference in the game came at the foul line. Mississippi hit 22-26 free throws compared to 9-13 for the visitors. The good foul shooting by the Bulldogs prevented the Tigers from making a comeback in the final minutes as Auburn tried to foul the home team to get back in the game.

Josh Dollard led the Tigers with 19 points and seven rebounds while fellow forward Quan Prowell scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds. Dollard hit 7-17 field goals while Prowell made 4-9 shots, including 4-6 threes.

Rasheem Barrett and Korvotney Barber each scored 10 points for the Tigers.

Freshman guard Barry Stewart, who was 10-10 at the foul line, led all scorers with 22 points, almost doubling his average of 11.5. He hit four of six field goals and all were three-point attempts. He hit 8-14 field goals, including 4-6 treys.

Reginald Delk, a 6-4 sophomore guard, led the charge during the second half comeback. He scored 20 points for the Bulldogs with four three-pointers.

Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said the outside shooting from Stewart and Delk on the wings was a big factor in the second half comeback for the Bulldogs. "The second half we couldn't seem to stop them and we battled our butts off," he said. "They shot it well and got to the free throw line a bunch in the second half.

"On the road we have got to be able to get to the foul line a little bit more," Lebo added. "In the second half I think it was 18 (16-18 foul shots) for them. We had to foul a little bit at the end. Offensively, they were awfully good in the second half."

Josh Dollard grabs a rebound for the Tigers.

Auburn started well, jumping to a 15-9 lead eight minutes into the contest. The Tigers built the lead to 33-24 with less than four minutes left in the half as Prowell hit a pair of treys and Frank Tolbert scored inside. At intermission Auburn was on top 37-31.

The Tigers hit 28-76 shots for 36.8 percent while the Bulldogs made 28-61 shots for 45.9 percent.

The Tigers hit 11-29 three-pointers while Mississippi State made 9-25 threes. Each team pulled in 44 rebounds. The Tigers turned the ball over 14 times, one fewer than the Bulldogs.

The Tigers will be back in action with a home game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. vs. Alabama.

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