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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bulldogs take down no. 8 Auburn Tigers

Bulldogs+take+down+no.+8+Auburn+Tigers
Haylee Morman

The Mississippi State University men’s basketball team showcased resilience and prowess on their home court by securing a hard-fought victory over the eighth-ranked Auburn Tigers. The tightly contested game unfolded as a riveting display of skill and determination from both sides.

Mississippi State’s ability to outplay the highly regarded Auburn Tigers, known for boasting one of the best defenses in the SEC, was widely speculated. However, from the opening tip-off at the Humphrey Coliseum, Mississippi State squandered any doubts, establishing early on that they could indeed compete at the highest level.

The game marked a significant milestone as it saw the first official start of freshman guard Josh Hubbard. His playmaking abilities became a focal point for the Bulldogs, especially going into the second half. Hubbard’s contributions eventually propelled the Bulldogs back into contention and allowed them to regain and maintain the lead, showcasing the potential of his emerging talent.

Throughout the intense matchup, the Bulldogs relentlessly tested the Auburn defense, pushing it to its limits in the electric atmosphere of the Hump. The deafening roar of Mississippi State fans was overwhelming — reaching a peak of 105 decibels during plays.

The turning point that shifted the momentum in favor of the Bulldogs occurred when Shawn Jones executed an extraordinary pass that covered nearly half the court. The precision of the play found Josh Hubbard wide open, enabling him to secure a crucial layup and further solidify Mississippi State’s lead.

This significant victory not only extends the Bulldogs’ home winning streak but also serves as a pivotal moment in shaping their trajectory for the remainder of the season. With tough SEC matchups on the horizon, including a clash with Alabama this Saturday, Mississippi State’s head coach Chris Jans recognized the importance of the win.

“I said, ‘This is a must-win.’ I didn’t tell my team that. I didn’t really tell anybody else that. But it was a must-win in my mind,” Jans said.

While celebrating the triumph, Mississippi State still has areas for improvement — most notably in free throw shooting. MSU stood at 50% for the night and 54.5% overall on the season, ranking as the third-worst in the SEC.

Looking forward, the Bulldogs maintain confidence in their ability to secure victories, especially with star center Tolu Smith making a significant impact on the team.

“We know what it takes to find consistency and win,” Smith said, “That’s what we’ve got to keep doing.”

Mississippi State gears up to face the Alabama Crimson Tide at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

About the Contributor
Noah McCord, Staff Writer
Noah McCord is a sophomore aerospace engineering major. Noah is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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