STARKVILLE, Miss. — After dropping its first two Southeastern Conference games, the No. 24 Mississippi State men’s basketball team closed out its two-game homestand with a 71-68 win over SEC foe Florida Gators Tuesday evening at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs improve to 13-3 (1-2 SEC), while the Gators fall to 9-7 (1-3 SEC).
With the score tied, Bulldogs’ Quinndary Weatherspoon hit a layup and free throw to give MSU a 71-68 lead. He now has five game-winning shots in his career.
The game-winning layup came after Florida’s Noah Locke tied the game on a six-footer with 10.2 seconds left.
Lamar Peters led the Bulldogs with 16 points on 5-12 shooting, including 4-8 from beyond the arc.
Tyson Carter added 12 points, including four three-pointers. Aric Holman chipped in with 10 points on 4-6 shooting, while both Quinndary and Nick Weatherspoon added nine points. Peters led the Bulldogs with six assists and Nick Weatherspoon led the squad with five rebounds.
As a team, the Bulldogs held a slight 30-29 rebound advantage, while also holding a 53.1 to 42.4 field goal percentage.
The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the game, but the Bulldogs scored 9 unanswered points to hold a 9-2 lead early in the ballgame. Both teams were hitting early and the game was close throughout before MSU went on an 11-0 run to take a 34-26 lead with 3:04 left in the first half. The Bulldogs went into the half with a 35-24 lead.
Nick Weatherspoon opened the second half scoring with a midrange jumper to give MSU a 38-34 lead. The Gators then hit a few three-pointers to take a 42-38 lead. Robert Woodard II hit midrange jumper to tie things up at 45-45 with 13:16 left in the game.
Teams exchanged baskets with no team holding more than a five point lead the rest of the way as the two teams were tied or swapped the lead 14 times.
Coming off the win, the Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt (9-6, 0-3 SEC). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Memorial Gymnasium and will be televised by SEC Network.