STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State closed the game on a 17-0 run and turned away an upset-minded Sam Houston State squad 67-58 on Friday night.
Tyson Carter led the Bulldogs (2-0) with a season-high 28 points while DJ Stewart added 15. Reggie Perry had his first double-double of the season with 14 rebounds and 10 points and Robert Woodard had 10 points.
Carter hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 58-58 with 1:57 left. Woodard gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with a three-pointer with 59 seconds to go. Sam Houston State led by 10 points at halftime and by as many as 16 in the second half.
Zach Nutall had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Sam Houston State (1-1). Kai Mitchell and Chad Bowie scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Mississippi State jumped to a 7-3 early but things quickly went downhill. Sparked by Bulldog turnovers, Sam Houston State went on a 19-2 run to grab control 34-17 with just under three minutes left in the half.
However, Carter scored eight unanswered points and the Bulldogs trailed 34-27 at halftime. Carter had 19 points in the first half and was 6 of 7 from the field and 5 of 5 at the free throw line. Mississippi State had 16 first-half turnovers and the Bearkats held a commanding 17-5 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Bulldogs shot 47.8% in the first half and held a 19-15 advantage on the backboard. Sam Houston State shot 42.9% in the first half and had five turnovers.
Sam Houston State: Despite the loss, Sam Houston State showed they can give Power 5 teams fits with their offensive execution and defensive efforts. The Bearkats won 21 games last year and made the program’s first NIT appearance.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs survived and have eight more games left before the return of junior guard Nick Weatherspoon, who is sitting out the first 10 games of the season because of an NCAA suspension. Weatherspoon is set to make his season debut on Dec. 22 against New Mexico State in Jackson, Miss.
Sam Houston State: The Bearkats remain on the road and play at Central Michigan next Saturday (Nov. 16).
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs continue their season-opening, four-game home stand Thursday and host Louisiana-Monroe.