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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU dominates Ole Miss in Humphrey Coliseum slugfest

Ivy Rose Ball
Tolu Smith produced a team-leading 24 points and 6 rebounds for the Bulldogs Wednesday night.

The rematch between the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University held at Humphrey Coliseum showed Mississippi State’s prowess and depth. This win proved Mississippi State’s ability to win tough games, especially emotional ones like this heated meeting of rivals. 

While freshman sensation Josh Hubbard did not get near the numbers he usually does, he helped pave the way for the rest of the team to succeed. One MSU athlete that truly succeeded was senior Cameron Matthews. 

Ivy Rose Ball

It was Matthews that first established Mississippi State’s dominance in the second half, leading Mississippi State to an early second half 6-0 run that paved the way to victory. He also played some of his best defensive games thus far. His defense set the tone after a poor first half performance.

Mississippi State head coach Chris Jans had high praise for how Matthews played versus Ole Miss. 

“I thought Cam set the tone defensively with some big plays,” Jans said. “People talk about 50-50 balls. Well, he got a ball that was 20-80.”

Ivy Rose Ball

Graduate student Tolu Smith also helped to carry the team through to the finish. Coming off the bench, Smith led the team with 24 points. He scored 18 of his points in the first half. This marks the fifth time this season that Smith has gone over 20 points in a game. 

The Bulldogs played well and won, and students and fans showed up and showed out. Humphrey Coliseum was a deafening distraction for Ole Miss, and its electric atmosphere helped boost the Mississippi State players coming out down at the first half.

 “Our [players] fed off the crowd,” Jans said. “They were loud and it’s no secret that it urges them on even more.”

A total of 9,381 members of the Maroon and White faithful cheered in the Humphrey Coliseum. Ivy Rose Ball

While Mississippi State achieved their hard-earned victory in the end, missed free throws lost them many opportunities to advance further in the game. At this point in the season, Mississippi State ranks dead last in the SEC in free throw percentages. This Achilles heel may present a challenge as they face opponents in the future, especially as Mississippi State gears up to face this final stretch of opponents to compete for a good spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

Mississippi State is set to take on a rematch with the Auburn Tigers March 2 at 3 p.m. inside Auburn Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2.

About the Contributor
Noah McCord
Noah McCord, Sports Editor
Noah McCord is a sophomore aerospace engineering major. He currently serves as the Sports Editor. [email protected]
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    Alison McLeanFeb 29, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    Very well written article by this young man! If aerospace engineering doesn’t work out he surely has a back up plan in journalism!