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Mississippi State Bulldogs Down South Carolina Gamecocks at the Hump

Mississippi State bounces back from a tough loss to Texas A&M to pick up a home victory over South Carolina.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State picked up a 68-58 victory over South Carolina Saturday at the Hump on Saturday, never trailing in a contest the school used to honor the Bulldogs' 1996 Final Four team.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and they never looked back in the contest, which they led by 17 at one point.

Mississippi State coach Ben Howland praised the defensive effort of his squad in the contest.

"That was a great effort us," MSU coach Ben Howland said. "It was our best effort of the season on both ends of the floor. It was our best sustained effort for 40 minutes. We forced 21 turnovers. We had 13 steals (including five by I.J. Ready and four by Craig Sword).

"Our bench was terrific. Our team defense was really incredible. We beat a really good team."

The Gamecocks came into the contest second in the SEC standings with a 10-5 record entering the game.

Gavin Ware recorded his eighth double-double of the season, tallying 16 points and 12 rebounds. Quinndary Weatherspoon and Craig Sword each scored 14, and Fred Thomas chipped in 12.

After jumping out to a 13-4 lead, the Bulldogs later went on a 10-0 run punctuated by a Johnny Zuppardo three-pointer and a Weatherspoon layup.

The Bulldogs took a 37-26 lead into the half, and they played solid defense in the second half to secure the win.

Mississippi State returns to action Wednesday in Oxford at the Pavilion in a 6pm tip on the SEC Network. It will be the first meeting in the venue between the two teams.