NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mississippi State needed a road win to get back on track and thanks to a scorching second half the Bulldogs improved their record to 16–4 with a 78-77 overtime win in Nashville.
After shooting 28 percent from the floor in the first half Mississippi State connected on their first seven shots from 3-point range on its way to shooting 88.9 percent from beyond the arc in the second half.
For the game, the Bulldogs were 10-of-20 from the land of three and shot 43.5 percent from the floor.
Sidney impacts with defense
State found itself in an 11-point hole after losing Renardo Sidney for the majority of the first half after he picked up two quick fouls to open the contest.
However, the MSU center did his part in the second half as he used his defense to impact the ballgame keeping Festus Ezeli in check.
“He made a huge difference,” said Dee Bost. “From the stats, it might not look like he had a huge game, but he had a huge game on the defensive end and that’s what we need. He shut Festus Ezeli down.”
For the game, Sidney had nine points and just one rebound but held Ezeli to just four second half points, proving to be the difference in the game.
Winning at the foul line
Mississippi State took full advantage of attacking the basket and getting to the foul line.
Coach Rick Stansbury credits this aspect of the Bulldogs’ game as the difference in the outcome.
“The one stat that is a huge stat for us,” said Stansbury. “This is one stat that tells you we were pretty good. It has probably never happened in this place. They shoot nine free throws and make five and we shoot 21 free throws. That tells you that the ball is being drove to the paint and we weren’t playing with silly fouls. You’ve got to do that to win on the road.”