COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 14 Mississippi State men’s basketball team fell short in overtime against South Carolina, 87-82, Tuesday evening at Colonial Life Arena.
The Bulldogs opened up their 18-game Southeastern Conference journey with a loss and are now 12-2 (0-1 SEC). The Gamecocks improve to 7-7 (2-0 SEC).
The Bulldogs shot 45.3 percent from the field fueled by senior Aric Holman who scored 20 points on 6-11 shooting and sophomore guard Nick Weatherspoon who scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting. Lamar Peters added 16 points and seven assists.
Mississippi State led 25-21 at the 10:26 mark as teams had combined to make 60 percent of their shots. The Bulldogs continued to shoot well and led 35-30 with 4:03 left before the Gamecocks closed the half on an 11-2 run to lead 41-37 at the half.
In the second half, the Bulldogs trailed 61-54 with just under 12 minutes to go, but climbed back in it with some clutch three-pointers. South Carolina’s Maik Kotsar had a career-high 25 points and hit a clutch bucket, free throw, block and rebound in the final minute-plus of regulation for the Gamecocks. Both teams had good looks to take the lead late in regulation, including a Peters layup that rimmed out for the Bulldogs.
Things were knotted up at 75 at the end of regulation, marking the second straight OT game between these two teams.
In overtime, Kotsar came up big again, hitting a mid-range jumper with 42.1 seconds to go that put South Carolina ahead, 85-82. The Gamecocks would add another basket to end the game.
MSU will be back in action Saturday when they host rival Ole Miss in game two of SEC action. Tip time is on-tap for 12 p.m. CT from Humphrey Coliseum. The game will be televised by CBS.