NASHVILLE — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team (23-9) rolled past Texas A&M (14-18) 80-54 Thursday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.
Lamar Peters and Quinndary Weatherspoon knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give MSU an early 6-2 lead. MSU then built a double-digit lead within the first six minutes of the game after a 3-point play by Abdul Ado made it 15-4 with 14:31 to go in the first stanza.
The Bulldogs kept pouring it on early as they led 25-9 with 8:09 to go after a Peters 3-pointer. MSU led by 17 points with just under two minutes to go in the first half before an Aggie layup made it 38-23, as State went into halftime with a comfortable 15-point lead.
The second half was much like the first, as the Bulldogs continued to roll past the Aggies. MSU built its lead to 20 points after a 3-point play from Robert Woodard II gave the Bulldogs a 50-30 lead with with 14:21 to go. MSU continued to knock down shots, as the Bulldogs led by as many as 30 points after Peters knocked down another 3-pointer to make it a 73-43 ballgame. MSU went on to win the contest 80-54.
As a team, the Bulldogs completely dominated inside the paint. MSU outscored Texas A&M 36-18 in the paint and outrebounded the Aggies 38-24.
Peters led MSU with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also finished with three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Tyson Carter and Weatherpoon chipped in with 14 points and 12 points, respectively. Weatherspoon was 4-of-5 shooting in the game, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range. He also dished out nine assists to go with four rebounds.
Mississippi State now faces No. 3 seed Tennessee in the fourth quarterfinal matchup Friday on SEC Network. Tip time is approximately 8:30 p.m. CT.