Mississippi State started the game slow and struggled to pull away from McNeese State. The first half didn’t have many bright spots, but one was the Bulldogs’ ability to shoot from deep. MSU started 3/4 from 3, but 4/13 from the field and this kept McNeese State in the game.
The Bulldogs got a 7-2 lead and it looked like they would keep this pace and put McNeese State away early, unfortunately that didn’t happen. McNeese State kept up with Mississippi State for the entire first half and the score going into the locker room was 42-39 with the Bulldogs down. The second half was the Lamar Peters show; finishing the game with a career-high 27 points and shot 8/13 from 3. Mississippi State went on a 19-0 run to finally pull away from McNeese State. Reggie Perry came off the bench to score 15 points and 9 rebounds. The Cowboys never had a chance once Peters caught fire. The Bulldogs forced 14 total turnovers on their way to a 90-77 victory over the McNeese State Cowboys.
Other than the slow start, there weren’t many noticeable negative takeaways. Aric Holman has had back-to-back sluggish scoring games. Last night, Holman only finished with 8 points and shot 2-10 overall. The interior defense is still the biggest weakness on the defense. The perimeter defense is elite, but did give up seven 3’s in their last contest.
The positives are highlighted by Lamar Peters with a phenomenal night. Reggie Perry will likely become our 6th man by the time conference play starts. Nick Weatherspoon added 11 points and Tyson Carter brought 10 off the bench. Robert Woodard is still getting better and competing for minutes. Reggie Perry has already had his “breakout” games, and Woodard is on the cusp of breaking out.
The next three games are some of the biggest during the non-conference schedule. Clemson, Cincinnati, and Wofford. Mississippi State is obviously a 2nd half team. The only way to win these next three games are is to not get too far behind in the 1st half. If the Bulldogs can come out of these 3 games with 2 victories, it will fare very well when Selection Sunday comes around in March.