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MSU, Rick Ray power past Florida Atlantic 78-58 for first win of the season

Rick Ray was able to get his first win at Mississippi State as the Bulldogs cruised to a victory against the Florida Atlantic Owls tonight at Humphrey Coliseum.

So. PG Trivante Bloodman chipped in 9 points and dished out 7 assists to help MSU to its first win in 2012-13
So. PG Trivante Bloodman chipped in 9 points and dished out 7 assists to help MSU to its first win in 2012-13
Mississippi State University | Bill Simmonds

Some of us coming into the season didn't know how long we would have to wait to see this young and thin Bulldog basketball team register a win in the 2012 season. Turns out, we didn't have to wait long at all.

After narrowly missing on a win in their opener Friday night at Troy, Mississippi State came out and dominated all facets of its 2012-13 home opener this evening, cruising to a 78-58 win over the Owls of Florida Atlantic.

Roquez Johnson, who missed Friday's opener with a concussion, led all scorers with 17 points, while freshman Fred "Flat-Top" Thomas chipped in an additional 16 points. Freshmen Craig Sword (11 points) and Gavin Ware (10 points) rounded out the double digit scorers for the Bulldogs this evening.

Mississippi State impressed tonight not only with its offense but with its tenacious defense as well, as the Bulldogs forced the Owls into 27 turnovers, 18 of which came in the first half. State was also able to swipe 17 (!) steals in the game, while holding the Owls to just 33% shooting on a 21 of 63 night overall.

Florida Atlantic was led by Greg Gantt and Cavon Baker with 17 and 11 points, respectively.

Not all news out of tonight's win was good news, however, as MSU guard Jalen Steele went down early in the first half after taking a nasty fall going after a ball. This was the latest that we've seen on Steele as of this post:

Until we hear something though, let's just enjoy the win for now. It get's no easier for State from here, as the Bulldogs next game is next Monday night in Maui against the #11 North Carolina Tar Heels.

Enjoy the win, Dog fans. It was a good one. Highlights, complete stats and more to come your way in tomorrow morning's News and Notes.

Hail State