Mississippi State goes on the road and pulls off a huge a win at College Station, TX (93-81). There is no doubt this team is getting better each week. Ben Howland seems to have gained control of his team late in the season and now has his dawgs at 20-8 on the season and 8-7 in the SEC.
The Bulldogs leading scorer was Abdul Ado with 19 points and 9 rebounds. This was Abdul Ado’s best game in SEC play. He seemed to gain control of the paint and had no problem throwing down a few dunks every now and then.
Quinndary Weatherspoon has upped his game lately as well. He finished with 17 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds. Q played like a veteran in this game. He controlled the court by driving to the rim and either scoring, getting fouled, or dishing the ball back out for an open three.
His brother, Nick Weatherspoon, was the only starter who did not finish in double figures (THE ONLY STARTER WHO DID NOT FINISH IN DOUBLE FIGURES). Quick side note: To have 4 of 5 of your starters finishing in double figures usually means you’re playing good basketball and that you’re going to put up a solid amount of points. Nick did end up with 6 points, 4 assists, and 6 rebounds. He also played for 33 minutes and that is not an easy task.
There is one player on Mississippi State’s team that is playing exceptional basketball right now and his name is Lamar Peters. Peters has turned into the key for success for this team. He is playing unselfish basketball and is also finding ways to beat his man and score. Peters finished with 15 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. Although Nick and Q seem to have great control of the court, Peters is the controller of this team. He can slow the game down or speed the game up depending on what is best for MSU’s offense.
Aric Holman and Xavian Stapleton combined for 21 points and both played outstanding defense. Tyson Carter, who is now coming off the bench, finished with 10 points. Carter, who typically only shoots threes, did a good job of driving to the rim and finding buckets.
This team deserves to be looked at for an NCAA tournament bid. With a 20-8 record, they have the second best overall record in the SEC. Yes I realize their strength of schedule is not the greatest, but winning 20 games is never an easy task. The last time Mississippi State men’s basketball won 20 games in a season was back in 2012 (Rick Stansbury’s last year; 21-12). The Bulldogs are also 5th in the SEC standings as of today.
The Bulldogs take on the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, February 24 at 2:30 PM at the Humphrey Coliseum.