The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Weatherspoon leads Bulldogs to victory

Kayleigh Phillips | The Reflector

In the game against Missouri, Quinndary Weatherspoon dropped a career high 29 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 89-74 victory. 

The Mississippi State men’s basketball team (13-6, 4-3) gathered a huge momentum boost going forward when they took down the Missouri Tigers (5-14, 0-7) Wednesday night 89-74.

After two tough losses to No. 4 Kentucky and on the road at Tennessee, MSU looked to improve their SEC record from 3-3 and get back over .500 winning percentage in conference play.

With Lamar Peters in early foul trouble, Quinndary Weatherspoon kept the Bulldogs alive for much of the first half. Out of his career high 29 points, he scored 18 in the first half to keep the Bulldog deficit to a minimum. Missouri shot 61.5 percent in the half, and the Tigers drained seven 3-pointers.

Schnider Herard was a huge plus in the first half when he was fouled multiple times and helped get the Missouri big men into foul trouble. Unfortunately, he shot 1-7 from the free throw line coming off the fouls. 

The Missouri Tigers took an early lead in the game and the Bulldogs tried to cut the lead all half. After they cut the lead to only one point, Missouri went on a 8-0 run to put themselves up nine. After that moment, the Bulldogs cut the lead to 43-39 to end the half.

Early in the second half, MSU took the lead and rolled with it. Up by six points, the half turned into the Peters show. Peters hit a streak and hit five straight 3-pointers to score 15 straight points for the Bulldogs.

Head coach Ben Howland said he knew Peters really led this team to a victory. He talked about the contributions Peters made in the second half when his team needed another player to step up.

“In the second half, Lamar (Peters) really took over,” Howland said. “He had foul trouble in the first half so he wasn’t a factor. I.J. Ready and Mario Kegler both played very well. They made some key plays for us.”

Peters scored 20 of his 23 total points in the second half and help lead the Bulldogs to the final margin of victory.

The Bulldogs offensive output was impressive and they shot 57.1 percent from the floor (32-of-56), 52.2 percent from 3-point range (12-of-23), but shot poorly from the free-throw line (13-of-25). 

Defense between the halves was the big difference in the game. Missouri drained seven 3-pointers in the first half, and did not hit any in the second half. 

“Our second half defensively keyed the comeback,” Howland said. “They shot 61 percent in the first half and only 32 percent in the second half. That fed our offense. Q (Weatherspoon) was the only one who had anything going for us in the first half. He kept us in the game.”

Sitting at sixth in the SEC standings with a 4-3 conference record, Weatherspoon and company travel to Alabama to take on Avery Johnson’s squad. Alabama defeated Mississippi State 68-58 earlier in the season. 

The two teams meet up tomorrow at 5 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.

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Weatherspoon leads Bulldogs to victory