Mississippi State and Auburn were both picked among the top four teams in the SEC by nearly every preseason prediction. Both teams came to the Humphrey Coliseum on Saturday night knowing a loss would drop them to 2-4 in conference play and way behind the pace set by Tennessee and LSU. In what felt like a must win game for the two squads, it was Mississippi State that came out on top, riding a sellout crowd’s energy to a 92-84 win over the Tigers. Quinndary Weatherspoon put up 27 points for the Bulldogs, and his backcourt teammate Lamar Peters put up his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 assists, as MSU traded a hot three point shooting attack in the first half for a dribble drive and dunk offense in the second.
The second half is when I do my thing ?
18 of his team-leading 25 PTS for Q.
— Mississippi State ? (@HailStateMBK) January 27, 2019
Quinndary Weatherspoon has been the most consistent force for MSU all season long, and he delivered tonight with his team needing a win. Weatherspoon scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half, including back to back threes when Auburn had pushed its lead out to 7, sparking an 8-0 that saw MSU regain the lead. Weatherspoon was the picture of efficiency, getting his points on only 9 attempts, while hitting a perfect 11-11 at the free throw line. Mississippi State needs its offense to run through Weatherspoon, as his ability to drive keeps defenses off his teammates and allows for good looks from deep. When he adds that three point shot to his arsenal, he is difficult for anybody in the conference to slow down.
THIS CROWD IS ALIVE
Howland really fired up about the crowd. It was a tremendous atmosphere tonight, and Howland says Richard Williams told him it felt like the days of old.
— Brian Hadad (@brianhadad) January 27, 2019
MSU announced this game as a sellout earlier this week, and I’ll admit, I was skeptical there would be a big crowd here at The Hump. Bulldog fans proved me wrong, showing up for a crowd of 10063 that really came alive in the second half during the MSU comeback. After the slow start to conference play, there was concern that the large crowd State drew for its loss to Ole Miss might be an anomaly, but tonight showed the maroon and white faithful aren’t giving up on this team with so much left to play for.
— Alabama Men’s Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) January 26, 2019
Alabama took a tough loss on Saturday in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, but coming off a huge home win earlier this week against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide know they are still very much in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth. Coleman Coliseum hasn’t been kind to the Bulldogs, who are only 2-8 in their last 10 trips down Highway 82. State will tip off against the Tide on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.
We’ll have a lot more recap about this game on Monday’s Thunder & Lightning Podcast, so be sure to tune in.
Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics.