Mississippi State jumps out early, beats Ole Miss 79-62
By PAUL JONES
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Quinndary Weatherspoon had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Mississippi State to a 79-62 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.
"I think it was a great win for us as a team," said Quinndary Weatherspoon. "Being against our rival, it was good for us to break that four-game losing streak we had to those guys. It was good for us to get over the hump and now we want to start our own winning streak."
With the win, Mississippi State moved to 17-1 at home this season and set a school record for home wins in a single season.
"We played so hard, defensively, in the first half and really imposed our will in terms of our defense," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "We took great shots and every change (Ole Miss) made defensively, we handled it well. Q (Weatherspoon) and Nick both had tremendous games, and Q also played great defense.
"I thought Tyson gave us huge minutes and knocked down big shots for us. We let the game come to us, offensively, and I am really happy for our team."
Mississippi State shot 56.4 percent from the floor and made 12 of 23 from beyond the arc. Ole Miss shot 41.1 percent for the game and made just 7 of 23 shots from long range. The Rebels also had 14 turnovers, including nine in the second half, but outrebounded the Bulldogs 31-30.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Mississippi State extended the lead to 22 points. Ole Miss cut the deficit to 13 points following a Tyree 3-pointer with 4:12 left in the second half. The Rebels did not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
"Ben (Howland) really has them playing well," said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy. "One thing they've not done well through the course of the season is make 3s. Now they are making 3s and (Abdul) Ado gives them a presence at the basket for the first time since Jarvis Varnado played here. Offensively, we got better in the second half but we could not stop them."
The Bulldogs drilled their first five attempts behind the arc en route to building an early 18-8 advantage. Ole Miss managed to cut the lead to 21-15 at the midway point of the first half due to back-to-back buckets from Stevens.
Mississippi State, however, responded with a 10-0 run thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Quinndary Weatherspoon. The Bulldogs maintained that comfortable lead throughout the rest of the half and led Ole Miss 44-23 at halftime.
Mississippi State shot 55.2 percent in the first half and made 8 of 13 shots beyond the arc. Ole Miss shot just 27 percent in the first half and made just 2 of 13 shots beyond the arc.
Ole Miss: The Rebels dropped their seventh straight game and have now lost nine of their last 11 games. Ole Miss has been blown out twice since Andy Kennedy announced his resignation, which takes place at the end of the season.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs kept their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support and had two RPI-building games left with Texas A&M and Tennessee. Mississippi State also snapped a four-game losing streak to rival Ole Miss.
Ole Miss stays on the road and faces Missouri on Tuesday.
Mississippi State travels Tuesday to No. 21 Texas A&M.
Updated February 17, 2018