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Mississippi State Dominates Cincinnati Defensively in Huge 70-59 Win

Cincinnati came to the Humphrey Coliseum with the reputation as one of the nation’s top defensive teams, but Saturday night, it was Mississippi State who was turning the screws on their opponent defensively, holding the Bearcats to 37% shooting in a 70-59 win Saturday night. The Bulldogs were frenetic on that end of the floor, complimenting another strong effort offensively, as MSU shot 12-23 behind the arc.


When Abdul Ado was called for a early flagrant foul, Ben Howland had to go to his bench, and true freshman Reggie Perry delivered once again. The true freshman scored 12 points in his reserve role, continuing to show his development and potential. Perry has made a strong statement to be included in the starting five in the past few games, but regardless of that, you can see he is a true difference maker.


This was the series where MSU took complete control and put the game into head. Led by Lamar Peters, who had another terrific game, the Bulldogs finally pushed their lead into double digits. MSU led for nearly the entirety of the contest but could never put the Bearcats away until this sequence. The offense was impressive, but it fed off the Bulldog defense, which was more than up to the task of playing Cincinnati, who came into the game as the squad that was supposed to be the one to watch on the defensive end of the floor. MSU became the first team this season to crack the 65 point mark against the Bearcats.


Three weeks ago, everybody circled this three game stretch of at Dayton, vs. Clemson, and vs. Cincinnati as the defining point of Mississippi State’s season, as those three games would prove if the Bulldogs were contenders or pretenders. I think most Bulldog fans would have been perfectly pleased with two wins in three games, but now after sweeping all three, it is obvious this team has what it takes to not only make the NCAA Tournament, but to do well in it. The Bulldogs should move up in the polls this week, possibly into the top 15.


Mississippi State said after last season it wanted to upgrade it’s non-conference schedule, and that it did, but it’s not over yet. Wofford has been very impressive this season, defeating South Carolina by 20 points, and making #12 North Carolina work hard for an 11 point win. The Bulldogs cannot afford any letdown at this point, having worked so hard to create this resume. Wednesday’s tilt at the Hump is another opportunity for a quality win, we will see if the Bulldogs can avoid any sort of problems against a tough Terriers squad.

We’ll have plenty to talk about later today on the Thunder & Lightning Podcast and all week long on SportsTalk Mississippi, as Bulldog basketball finally appears to all the way back.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

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