Mississippi State (6-5) came out with a strong defensive purpose and executed their game plan perfectly, as they held Jacksonville (4-10) scoreless for the first five minutes of the first half on route to a Bulldog blowout victory. From the opening tip the Bulldogs seemed more in sync on both sides of the ball than they had been in more than a month. State also had arguably one of their best offensive performances of the season, shooting for 57% from the floor and better than 53% from behind the arc.
In the first half MSU shot 60% from the floor and held Jacksonville to 46% to grab a 36-27 lead at the end of the first half. The hot shooting continued in the second half as the Bulldogs built on their lead, never allowing the Dolphins to get any closer than an eight point deficit. Mississippi State led 51 to 39 with ten minutes to go in the second half before closing out the game on a 19 to 8 point run. The final score was 70-47, with the Bulldogs record improving to 6-5.
This game featured another of Coach Rick Ray's starting lineup shakeups, relegating Roquez Johnson back to the bench despite his dynamite performance the last two games. Despite the change, Johnson still shined against Jacksonville, contributing 11 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. However, the stars of this game were Fred Thomas and Travis Daniels. Not only did Thomas and Daniels hit 4 of State's 8 made three pointers, the duo combined for fourteen rebounds, which was just shy of the eighteen total rebounds collected by Jacksonville.
With just two games left before conference play starts, the Bulldogs look to enjoy a week long holiday break before returning to the Hump next Tuesday for a match-up against McNeese St.