Carter's shooting helps Bulldogs to home win

Mississippi State's Tyson Carter

Staff Writer

Two years as simply a role-playing scorer off the bench was enough for Tyson Carter.

The former Starkville Daily News multi-time Area Player of the Year was dynamic as one of the state’s top players for his father Greg Carter and the Yellow Jackets. At Mississippi State, Carter averaged 8.2 points and hit 102 3-pointers in his first two seasons, but he’s increased his role after offseason work.

Sunday showed just how important, and lethal Carter can be as he knocked down 4-of-7 3s and scored in double digits for the second-straight game as the No. 18 Bulldogs had little trouble with Hartford. Despite a slow start, MSU cruised to a 77-59 victory at Humphrey Coliseum and moved to 2-0 this season.

“There’s no question that Tyson is just like a starter for us,” State head coach Ben Howland said. “You saw (Sunday) that I was playing Tyson at the point and I’m very comfortable with him playing on the ball or off the ball. Tyson’s improvement from a year ago to now has been as good as anyone in the program because he’s put so much work into it.

“I’m excited for Tyson. He’s going to have a great year.”

Carter had 12 points in the opening game of the season as well and also added four steals against Austin Peay. While he was happy with his 23 minutes in that ball game, he was 0-for-4 from 3. The difference on Sunday wasn’t anything special, he was just hitting his shots.

The SHS alum nailed four of the long balls in the game and had 14 points and two more steals in 23 more minutes.

“I felt pretty good the other night, (but my shot) just wasn’t falling for me,” Carter said. “Last year we didn’t shoot good and that had a lot to do with our shot selection. We’ve got to watch the shots that we take and make sure they’re good shots.”

Carter wasn’t the high scorer for MSU. Quinndary Weatherspoon had a relatively-quiet 22 points with a team-high six steals and two assists in 32 minutes. The Bulldogs were sharp on the defensive end with 15 steals and 21 forced turnovers turning into 21 points on the other end.

Howland was happy with the production by the defense, especially in the second half, as they held leading scorer Jason Dunne to just two points in the second stanza after scoring 15 in the first half. Dunne turned the ball over seven times.

“(Dunne) led their league in 3-pointers made a year ago,” Howland said. “I thought Q did a great job on him in the second half and he played great defense (Sunday).”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 after the first defensive possession but that was the only real advantage that Hartford had. The spark came on an 8-0 run that took the lead out to 13-5 heading towards the 12-minute mark.
When MSU took a double-digit lead midway through the half, it marked the end of Hartford staying within striking distance. It was 43-29 at halftime and the Bulldogs did not look back.

State won the battle of the boards with 36 rebounds to 28. Abdul Ado was tops in that regard as the sophomore center pulled in 10 of those. Aric Holman narrowly missed his second double-double in as many games with 12 points and eight rebounds. Nick Weatherspoon capped the double-digit scorers with 10 points, three assists, two steals and no turnovers.

MSU is continuing the MGM Resorts Main Event Regional Round by playing Long Beach State on Friday at 8 p.m. Following that contest, State will travel to Las Vegas to play Arizona State on November 19.