Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Long-range shooting propels Mississippi State men's basketball team to win

Mississippi State is quickly learning the habit of winning road games in SEC play. Behind 25 points from Quinndary Weatherspoon, the Bulldogs had another solid night on the offensive end as they took an 84-78 win over Arkansas Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena. (Article Source: MSU Athletics Media Relations)

Coupled with Saturday's 95-78 win at LSU, MSU made it back-to-back conference road wins for the first time since beating Tennessee and Arkansas back-to-back in 2011. The Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak here, beating the Razorbacks on their home floor for the first time since 2011.

MSU improved to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play, while Arkansas fell to 12-4 and 1-3.

"It was a big win for us," MSU head coach Ben Howland said. "Two straight road wins in this league is hard to do. I was really proud of the poise that we showed. When we showed patience, we did some really good things. Our bench was great. The way Q shot the ball early gave the whole team confidence."

In the two road wins, the Bulldogs hit 23 of 48 shots from 3-point range, including a 12 of 26 showing against Arkansas. Weatherspoon set a new conference-game career high in points, which included 6 of 7 from deep, while Lamar Peters was 4 of 10. Aric Holman and Tyson Carter also hit 3-pointers.

Peters finished with 14 points, while Holman had 13 points. Holman had his second double-double with the Bulldogs, after collecting a team-high 11 rebounds. In 34 minutes of play, Weatherspoon had six rebounds, two assists and no turnovers.

Xavian Stapleton had eight points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

The lead changed hands several times before the Razorbacks used an 11-1 run to open a 24-17 lead with 9:40 left in the first half. The Bulldogs quickly reeled off the game's next seven points to tie the contest at 24.

A 3-pointer by Peters ran the Bulldogs' lead to 33-27. A tip-in by Stapleton gave the Bulldogs a 40-32 lead. MSU held a 40-34 lead at halftime.

To start the second half, the Bulldogs struggled against full-court pressure. The Razorbacks scored six straight points to tie the contest.

A layup by Peters stopped the run. A 3-pointer by Weatherspoon gave the Bulldogs the lead for good at 49-46 with 13:11 left.

The Bulldogs would later stretch the lead to 55-48. The Razorbacks would later cut it to three, but the Bulldogs had the answers – including a stretch of 10 straight made free throws.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 25 of 55 shots from the field (45.5 percent), 12 of 26 shots from 3-point range (46.2 percent) and 22 of 32 shots from the foul line (68.8 percent). The Razorbacks hit 28 of 59 shots from the field (47.5 percent), 7 of 21 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 15 of 23 shots from the foul line (65.2 percent).

MSU held a 41-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 14 assists and 16 turnovers, while the Razorbacks had 12 assists and nine turnovers.

"We need our fans to pack the Humphrey Coliseum Saturday," Howland said. "Our guys deserve that. It's a Noon game, so it's convenient for wherever you are coming from around the state. These kids are earning a packed arena. We need to make the Hump one of the toughest places to play again."

Arkansas (12-4, 1-3) received 19 points from Moses Kingsley, 17 points from Dusty Hannahs, 11 points from Anton Beard and 10 points from Jaylen Barford. Dustin Thomas had a team-high seven rebounds.

MSU returns home for a pair of games at Humphrey Coliseum. First up is Texas A&M at Noon Saturday. That contest will be available nationally on CBS and shown in the Golden Triangle area on WCBI.

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