STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team led by as many as 18 points in the first half, trailed by six in the second half, but the Bulldogs held on for a 69-66 win over Furman on Friday night inside Humphrey Coliseum.
Graduate forward Garrison Brooks scored 18 points to lead the Bulldogs (8-3). Junior guard Iverson Molinar and junior forward D.J. Jeffries scored 14 points apiece, while sophomore guard Shakeel Moore finished with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds.
MSU shot 25-for-49 from the field (51%), including 5-for-16 (31.3%) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs made 14-for-21 (66.7%) from the free-throw line.
The Paladins (7-5) shot 25-for-46 (54.3%), including 14-for-27 (51.9%) from 3-point range. and were led by Senior guard Alex Hunter, who scored a career-high 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 8-for-11 on 3s.
Senior forward Jalen Slawson and graduate guard Conley Garrison added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs used an 18-0 run to take a 25-8 lead with 8:35 left in the first half. They led by as many as 18 points at 29-11 before going into the halftime break leading 35-24.
In the second half, the Paladins used a 12-0 lead to go ahead 48-47 with 9:31 to play. Furman grew its lead to as many as six points, but with just under three minutes left, the Bulldogs regrouped. A three-point play by Jeffries made it a 64-61 game with 2:58 left.
MSU took a lead with 49 seconds left when Moore made a layup after a steal by sophomore forward Cameron Matthews to make it 67-66. Furman missed three 3-pointers on its final three possessions and the Bulldogs made two of their four free throws to hang on for a 69-66 win.
The Bulldogs will return to action Tuesday when they play Winthrop at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi, at 6 p.m. CT.