Rhodes, who scored a season-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, also claimed 10 rebounds, marking his fourth double-double of the season, and his second straight after a 14-point, 10-rebound effort at Loyola Marymount on Wednesday. Sophomore Barry Stewart hit 7-of-9 from the floor to contribute a season-high 19 points along with four assists, and Jamont Gordon and redshirt sophomore Phil Turner chipped in 13 apiece to cap Bulldog scorers in double digits.
Two freshmen led the Islanders in scoring in the losing effort, with Justin Reynolds and Kevin Perkins combining for 35 points and nine rebounds, while senior William Bullard pitched in 13.
After hot shooting by both teams, Mississippi State owned a 51-40 halftime lead approaching the second stanza. The Bulldogs would soon jump out to a 8-0 run early in the second half to put the game out of reach while also holding the Islanders without a field goal between the 12:13 and 7:48 marks. State's bench would then take the floor to maintain MSU's comfortable lead.
The victory marks the most points scored in a game thus far this season for the Bulldogs, as the team shot 52.4 percent from the floor, including an even higher mark of 56.3 percent from behind the arc, including Turner's perfect 3-of-3 performance from that distance.
MSU continued its rebounding excellency, outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 43-28 on the evening. State also continued to improve their assist-to-turnover ratio, dishing out 18 assists and turning the ball over only 10 times on the night.
The game wraps up the pre-Christmas slate for Mississippi State, as the Bulldogs next will host Missouri in Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 12:30 p.m. CT. The contest will be televised by SportSouth.