Mississippi State Lines Up a Third Straight Win, Defeats Arkansas 77-70

Mississippi State knew coming into Wednesday’s matchup with Arkansas that they would have a decided height advantage against the smaller Razorback lineup. That advantage turned into a +10 rebounding margin, and a huge night from the free throw line as Arkansas could not contain the taller Bulldogs without the extra harm. State shot an excellent 27-31 from the stripe en route to a 77-70 win. Reggie Perry once again led the maroon and white with 26 points and 13 boards, going 14-15 on the line. DJ Stewart added 14 points of his own, and Nick Weatherspoon had 11 to go with a 6 assist zero turnover night. State improves to 12-6, 3-3 in the SEC.

MAKING THEM PAY

There simply was no answer for Reggie Perry on the Arkansas sideline, as he controlled the game from the low post, constantly drawing fouls from the Razorback defenders, then converting those opportunities into points. Perry’s 14-15 night at the line set the stage for a historic night, as his stat line was the first time in the past 20 years a Bulldog has gone over 20 points and 10 rebounds in three straight games. Perry has elevated his game coming out of State’s three game losing streak, and he’s playing at a level that will have him in the running for national honors and on the radar of NBA scouts this summer.

DJ MAKES BIG PLAYS

DJ Stewart missed a couple of easy shots in the first half, but came back strong in the second half to get into double figures. Stewart is a bit of an X-Factor for this team. He’s great defensively, but if he can add some scoring threat, the Bulldogs will be incredibly tough to defend. The decision to start Stewart and bring Tyson Carter off the bench has really paid off for Ben Howland thus far, and we might look back in a few weeks to say that move saved the Bulldogs season.

WHAT’S NEXT?

For the first time since the 2013-14 season, Mississippi State will take its place in the SEC/Big XII Challenge. The Bulldogs will take on Oklahoma at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, home of the NBA’s Thunder, but the game will count as a true road game. The Sooners have a 12-6 record of their own, and are currently sitting at 53rd in the NET Rankings. State can get another Quadrant 2 win on Saturday and add to their steadily improving tournament resume.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics