Mississippi State Finishes 2018 With A Blowout Win Over BYU

Mississippi State closed out the year and the non-conference portion of the schedule by throttling BYU, 103-81 before an announced crowd of over ten thousand at the Humphrey Coliseum. The Bulldogs were led by their seniors, as Quinndary Weatherspoon and Aric Holman combined for 55 points on 20-31 shooting. Three other Bulldogs found their way into double figures, Tyson Carter with 16, Reggie Perry and Nick Weatherspoon with 11 apiece. State shot an outstanding 54.3% for the game, which help them overcome a poor night from behind the three point line, only 7-21 from long range.

SENIORS STAND OUT

Mississippi State’s two seniors have been very effective in the season’s first two months, but never more so than today, as Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon tore up the BYU defense from inside and outside all game long. Holman got going early with 7 points before the game’s first media timeout, while Weatherspoon picked up the pace towards the end of the first half. On a day where Lamar Peters was held scoreless, Holman and Weatherspoon’s contributions were key for the Bulldogs getting the easy win.

SECOND CHANCES MAKE IT ALL BETTER

The stat I felt stood out the most was second chance points. MSU only had three more offensive rebounds than BYU, but the Bulldogs enjoyed a 29-13 advantage in second chance points. State was +9 overall on the boards, and on the offensive end, was able to drive at will against the smaller Cougar front line. Quinndary Weatherspoon made mention of that in the postgame press conference.

For as good as MSU has been this year from the perimeter, a game like this where the guards can create off the dribble and score is very encouraging. Peters, the Weatherspoon brothers, and Carter all have the ability to get to the rim with the right matchups, it was good to not see them settling for threes when the long balls were not falling.

WHAT’S NEXT?

South Carolina is the only SEC team under .500, sitting at 4-7 and coming off a 10 point loss to Clemson, a team MSU beat with relative easy on December 8. The Gamecocks will actually get a conference game under their belts before the tilt with the Bulldogs, taking on Florida next Saturday. This is a team Mississippi State should be, so an win on the road will be what the Bulldogs are looking for to start the new year off right.

We’ll talk more about this game and the start of SEC play on the Thunder & Lightning podcast this week, and of course on SportsTalk Mississippi, as I’ll be live from Tampa on Monday and Tuesday. Have a great New Year’s and thanks for enjoying my coverage of the Bulldogs in 2018!

Photo courtesy of 247 Sports and Gene Swindoll.