Mississippi State looks for complete effort vs. Winthrop


Mississippi State will look to extend its winning streak to three games on Tuesday when it faces Winthrop in a nonconference, neutral-site game in Biloxi, Miss.

The Bulldogs (8-3) are coming off a 69-66 win over Furman on Friday. They squandered an 11-point halftime lead before rallying from a six-point deficit with under four minutes remaining.

Mississippi State ended the game on an 11-2 run after trailing 64-58 with 3:51 left. Shakeel Moore’s layup with 49 seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 67-66 lead.

Garrison Brooks scored a game-high 18 points, and Iverson Molinar and D.J. Jeffries added 14 points apiece for the Bulldogs. Moore finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.

“I believe in our team and believe we’re going to win close games,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.

The Bulldogs shot 51.0 percent (25 of 49) from the field — including 31.3 percent (5 of 16) from 3-point range — but they missed seven of their 21 free throws. Mississippi State forced Furman into 18 turnovers and held a 29-23 edge in rebounds.

“We’re learning how to fight through adversity,” Jeffries said. “We’re growing and getting better each and every day. We’ve just got to build on the things that we did good and improve on the things that we did bad.”

Mississippi State has four active players averaging double digits in scoring — Molinar (16.5 points per game, team-high 4.5 assists per game), Brooks (11.4 ppg, team-high 6.7 rebounds per game), Moore (10.7 ppg., team-high 2.2 steals per game) and Jeffries (10.2 ppg).

Tolu Smith (13.3 ppg) remains sidelined with a fractured pinky toe on his right foot. He’s played in just four games this season.

Winthrop (6-5) is coming off a 63-61 loss at Elon on Wednesday. Jerald Gillens-Butler hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.3 seconds remaining to end the Eagles’ modest two-game winning streak.

D.J. Burns, whose hook shot with eight seconds remaining gave the Eagles a 61-60 lead, finished with 23 points, six rebounds and two steals. Patrick Good added 12 points and Micheal Anumba had eight points and five rebounds.

Burns averages a team-high 16.6 points per game for Winthrop. Good contributes 12.7 points per contest and Cory Hightower chips in 11.3 points to go along with a team-high 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

–Field Level Media

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