After consecutive losses to Missouri Kansas City and Florida State that put Mississippi State under .500, the Bulldogs were able to rebound with a 69-59 victory over Tulane on Saturday.
Malik Newman led the way for Mississippi State with 15 points. Right behind him were Craig Sword with 14, and although dealing with a bone bruise in his knee, Gavin Ware added 12 points of his own.
This game was pretty back and forth for a majority of the 1st half before Mississippi State created some separation, going into the locker room with a 40-34 lead. This was due in large part to the play of Malik Newman, who tacked on 13 points in the 1st half.
But, the start of the 2nd half was a disaster for State. After just two minutes, the Green Wave went on a 6-0 run to tie it up at 40, and it kept getting larger and larger. With just under 12 minutes to go in the game, Mississippi State found themselves down by nine, 54-45, after a 20-5 Tulane run. But, the Bulldogs stuck together. Mississippi State went on a 15-0 run to take a 60-54 lead with five minutes left to go and ultimately closed the game out on a 24-5 run, winning 69-59.
There were a couple of key improvements in this game for Mississippi State, turnovers and fouls. Turnovers and fouls have been weaknesses for the Bulldogs all season long, but they were able to limit them Saturday. Mississippi State turned it over only nine times and gave up 12 fouls, but the Green Wave shot 45.5% (5-11) from the line. On the other hand, Tulane fouled Mississippi State 21 times, and State was able to take advantage, shooting 76.9% (20-26) from the line.
Tulane shot the ball well in this game, 41.0%, but they couldn't hit a three pointer to save their lives. The Green Wave went 4-24 from behind the arc for an abysmal 16.7%. As for Mississippi State, offense wasn't a problem, shooting for 38.2% (21-55) from the field and 38.9% (7-18) from behind the arc.
Mississippi State seems to be getting back on track, improving their record to 5-5 on the year. The Bulldogs look to get on a streak against Northern Colorado in Jackson Wednesday night at 7 PM on the SEC Network.