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Mississippi State beats Ole Miss

STARKVILLE – Malik Newman scored 20 of his career-high 25 points in the second half to lead Mississippi State to an 83-77 victory over Mississippi on Saturday.

Quinndary Weatherspoon added 18 points for the Bulldogs (8-10, 1-5 SEC), who snapped a four-game losing skid against the Rebels, and avoided its first 0-6 conference start since 1985-86.

Gavin Ware had 14 points and Craig Sword added 10 with five assists Mississippi State.

“Obviously, it’s a big win for our guys,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “Malik was fantastic and he absolutely took the game over in the second half. “I.J. (Ready) didn’t start the second half because of foul trouble and Malik did well as the lead guard.”

Rasheed Brooks scored 20 points and Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey added 16 for Mississippi (12-7, 2-5), which has lost four straight. Anthony Perez had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcanvis Hymon chipped in eight points and 10 boards.

It was tied at 59-all with 8:25 remaining when Newman made a 3-pointer to spark an 11-0 run and the Bulldogs led 70-59 with 4:43 to play.

Fitzpatrick-Dorsey scored six points and Brooks added a 3 as part of a 10-2 spurt to pull the Rebels to 79-75 with 22 seconds left. Ware answered with a dunk and I.J. Ready made a pair of free throws to seal it.

“Our issue is finishing at the basket and making hard, SEC athlete plays at the rim. Mississippi State did a better job of that,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Our zone confused them a little early on, but then we left the best shooter (Newman) in the gym open.”

Mississippi State shot 52 percent from the field and 50 percent (12 of 24) from 3-point territory. The Rebels shot just 38 percent from the floor, but made 10 of 20 3-pointers with Brooks hitting 4 of 7.

The Bulldogs had 15 turnovers but just four in the second half while Ole Miss had 10. The Rebels outrebounded the Bulldogs 36-31 and held a 16-7 advantage on the offensive glass.

“The difference was their toughness at the rim and our inability to make plays at the basket. Hard plays at the basket with the game on the line was the difference,” Kennedy said.

The first half had several runs from both teams, and eight lead changes. Mississippi State jumped to a 17-8 lead before Ole Miss reeled off ten straight points. Late in the first half, the Rebels had back-to-back 3s from Perez and Tomasz Gielo and to push their lead to 38-32.

However, Weatherspoon finished the half with four straight points as Mississippi State trailed 38-36 at halftime. Weatherspoon had 15 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting.

Ole Miss held the halftime lead largely due to perimeter shooting as the Rebels made 7 of 13 3-pointers in the first half. Overall, the Rebels shot just 31.3 percent in the first half, and only three field goals were not from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs shot 54 percent in the first half and held an 18-15 advantage on the boards. Mississippi State, however, had 11 turnovers in the first half that resulted into 14 points for Ole Miss.

By Paul Jones, Associated Press