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Mississippi State men’s basketball upends Ole Miss 66-56

Bulldogs improve to 12-11.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

OXFORD, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team snapped its two-game losing streak with a 66-56 win over Ole Miss Saturday evening inside The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 12-11 (6-8 SEC), while the Rebels drop to 12-9 (7-7 SEC).

MSU sophomore guard Iverson Molinar scored 17 points, while redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. had 16 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith added 12 points and six rebounds. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 25-for-49 (51.0%) and made 14 of 18 (77.8%) free throws.

The Rebels shot 21-for-55 (38.2%) and made just 5 of 19 (26.3%) 3-pointers. Junior forward KJ Buffen was the only Ole Miss player to reach double figures with 13 points. Senior guard Devontae Shuler, who entered the game as the Rebels’ top scorer with 16.3 points per game, was held to four points on 1-for-15 shooting, including 0-for-6 from distance.

MSU opened up with a pair of dunks from redshirt senior forward Abdul Ado and Smith to take a 4-0 lead and never trailed in the game.

A layup by redshirt sophomore forward Javian Davis put the Bulldogs up 19-9 with 9:58 left in the first stanza. The Rebels were able to trim the deficit to six at 31-25 at the halftime break.

Molinar scored 12 of his 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to lead the Bulldogs to a 48-38 lead with 10:06 left in the game. MSU then used a 6-0 spurt to go up by 15 at 55-40 with 6:39 to play.

A pair of free throws by Buffen brought the Rebels within six points at 60-54 with 1:37 left. Stewart then made a jumper and a pair of free throws to go back up 10. Ado closed the game’s scoring with a dunk to give MSU a 66-56 win.

The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday when they host South Carolina at 6 p.m. CT. It will air on SEC Network.