STARKVILLE, Miss. — In the opening game of back-to-back contests against Missouri, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team beat the Tigers 68-49 on Friday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 15-11 (6-7 SEC), while the Tigers fall to 10-16 (4-9 SEC).
Redshirt junior forward Tolu Smith led MSU with 16 points, while junior guard Iverson Molinar added 13 points. Junior forward D.J. Jeffries chipped in with 12 points and five assists and graduate forward Garrison Brooks finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
MSU shot 26-for-53 (49.1%) from the field and 3-for-12 (25%) on 3-pointers. The Bulldogs held Missouri to 16-for-51 (31.4%) shooting, including 3-for-17 (17.6%) on 3s.
The Tigers were led by sophomore forward Ronnie DeGray III, who scored 13 points, and senior guard Javon Pickett, who scored 11 points.
Pickett opened the game with a triple to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. They led until MSU began a 10-0 run that ended with the Bulldogs leading 13-7 with 10:17 left in the first half. They led the rest of the game.
The Tigers went without a field goal in the final 5:12 as MSU led 34-23 at the halftime break.
In the second half, Missouri trimmed MSU’s lead to seven points on two separate occasions, but sophomore forward Andersson Garcia’s three-point play gave the Bulldogs a 46-34 lead with 13:28 left to play. They led by double figures the rest of the game.
MSU went on to win 68-49.
The Bulldogs and Tigers are set to play each other again on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT in Missouri in a rescheduled game from Jan. 5. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.