Last night, Mississippi State men’s basketball faced the Wofford Terriers in The Hump in attempt to increase their winning streak to 7 games. Wofford was 9-3 coming into the game with losses to North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Wofford lost by a combined 47 points to those teams, but played all of them tough into the 2nd half. I predicted that they would do the same to the Bulldogs, and they delivered.
From the tip-off, Wofford brought it against Mississippi State. Abdul Ado was fouled on the first possession and went 1-for-2 from the line. From there, it was offensive fireworks from both teams. Mississippi State made 6 3’s in the first half. On the flip side, Wofford shot 9/12 from behind the arc before heading to the locker room. The first half was back and forth scoring and Wofford went into the half with a 50-41 lead over the Bulldogs. Mississippi State came out in the 2nd half and immediately started to make a run to get control of the game. The Bulldogs scored 11 straight before Wofford’s Fletcher Magee ended the run with a 3, but that didn't stop the Dawgs. MSU got a 57-56 lead with 14:01 left in the game, and they never looked back. Wofford made last-second-effort to get within 5 with less than a minute left in the game, but Tyson Carter made his free throws and Reggie Perry got a two-point tip-in to seal the victory for the Bulldogs.
Now, there weren’t many negatives in this game, but I'll list the ones I noticed. Quinndary Weatherspoon had a very unordinary night. He ended up with 18 points, but shot 2/10 from the field, 0/5 from deep, and 14/15 from the free throw line. A lot of his game is driving to the basket and drawing fouls, but it’s not like him to shoot the ball this poorly (excluding his incredible job from the free throw line). Abdul Ado has never been a dominant force in the paint, but he does have a lot of potential to score a lot for the team. This game, he only had one shot attempt, and it was on the first possession of the game. With the guards being on fire, I think this will be a great opportunity to make his presence known.
To finish, the positives. Peters and Aric Holman lead the team in scoring with 19. Both were superb shooting the ball and shot a combined 8/11 from 3. Nick Weatherspoon, Robert Woodard, and Tyson Carter also cashed in from deep for the team to finish with a total of 14/27 (51.9%) from deep. This team has been one of the best in the country shooting the ball the past few weeks and I don't see any reason for them to start slowing down.
Mississippi State has showdowns with Wright State (12/22) and BYU (12/29) to end the non-conference schedule. A trip to South Carolina awaits the Bulldogs when conference play begins. Howland currently has his team rolling through opponents, and if they can find a way to keep this going in conference play, a conference title can be very realistic expectation.
- In the past 4 games, Mississippi State has shot 59/111 (53.2%) from 3
- Mississippi State ranks top-50 in the country in free throw percentage, assist/turnover ratio, and assists per game
- Lamar Peters is tied for 33rd in the country with 3.30 made 3 point field goals per game