Mississippi State shook off the after effects of two straight losses and put together one of its best offensive games of the season, shooting 52% and hitting 16 three pointers in a 92-81 win over Texas A&M. Four Bulldogs found their way into double figures, led by Lamar Peters, who had what might have been his game since December, getting 21 points to go with 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Quinndary Weatherspoon chipped in 20 points, Tyson Carter added 18, with all makes behind the three point line, and Aric Holman capped his Senior Day with 16 points and 9 rebounds. State now awaits the finale of this weekend’s schedule to see where they will be seeded in next week’s SEC Tournament.
GOING OUT WITH STYLE
Aric Holman really has a smooth jumper for his height. Interesting prospect for Mississippi State. pic.twitter.com/VsxqjrR33f
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) March 9, 2019
Aric Holman got the Bulldogs going on Saturday with the opening bucket, then had a game that showed the wide array of talents he possesses. Holman put up 16 points to go with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a blocked shot. Holman’s regression throughout conference play was a big factor in why the Bulldogs were so inconsistent from January on. If Ben Howland can get this version of Aric Holman now that the postseason has begun, it changes everything for his team and their fortunes.
PETERS SHOWS OUT
— Mississippi State Basketball (@HailStateMBK) March 9, 2019
The same can be said about point guard Lamar Peters. Going back to the Bulldogs’ win in Oxford against Ole Miss, where Howland revealed Peters had played with a wrist injury, the junior had only scored in double figures twice coming into today. Against A&M, he showed off the complete package, hitting from deep, finding his teammates, and giving great effort on the defensive end. As much as the Bulldogs would like to have Holman back to his usual self, I feel it’s more of a need with Peters, State cannot go far if he isn’t playing better. When he’s locked in, he’s got the talent to carry this team. We’ll see if these games travel to Nashville next week.
We won’t know Mississippi State’s seeding and first game time until the weekend is over, but it seems likely the Bulldogs will end up as either the 6 or 7 seed. That would set up, with a win on Thursday, a matchup with either Kentucky or Tennessee, whom State was 0-3 against this past season. From there, it’s Selection Sunday, as the Bulldogs will find themselves in the Big Dance for the first time since 2009.
Photos courtesy of Mississippi State athletics and the Southeastern Conference