MSU Basketball Falls To Auburn

NASHVILE, Tenn. – Despite 21 points from Craig Sword and 18 points from I.J. Ready, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team saw its season end with a 74-68 loss to Auburn in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

MSU completes its third season under Rick Ray with a 13-19 overall record. Auburn (13-19) will face Texas A&M (20-10) in a tournament quarterfinal Thursday night.

The Bulldog started quickly, building an 18-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Craig Sword. Auburn battled back with a 9-2 run for a 20-20 tie on a putback by Antoine Mason.

The lead switched hands a couple of times before a basket by I.J. Ready placed the Maroon and White on top 30-29. MSU used a 10-2 run to build a 36-31 lead.

A 3-pointer by Auburn’s K.T. Harrell brought the Tigers within 36-34 at halftime.

A layup by Sword pushed the MSU advantage to 38-34. From there, Auburn seized control of the contest. The Tigers built a 48-41 lead on a 14-3 run.

The Bulldogs went better than six minutes without a field goal as the Tigers upped the advantage to 56-45 with 11:37 left.

MSU responded with a 16-3 run, which included a 12-0 spurt to take a 61-59 lead on a jumper by Ready with 7:11 left.

The Bulldogs would hold one final lead before a layup by Harrell placed the Tigers on top for good at 66-65 with 3:47 left. Alex Thompson followed with a 3-point basket for the Tigers, who were able to ease to victory from there.

For the contest, MSU hit 26 of 52 shots from the field (50.0 percent), 1 of 12 shots from 3-point range (8.3 percent) and 15 of 19 shots from the foul line (78.9 percent). Auburn hit 22 of 48 shots from the field (45.8 percent), 8 of 15 shots from 3-point range (53.3 percent) and 22 of 34 shots from the foul line (64.7 percent).

Auburn held a 34-27 rebounding advantage. MSU had 14 assists and 16 turnovers, while Auburn had nine assists and 17 turnovers.

Auburn received 21 points from K.C. Ross-Miller and 19 points from Harrell.

Sword had a team-high seven rebound, four assists and a block in 28 minutes of play.


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