Bulldogs rally in 2nd half for 86-73 win over Tennessee

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics

  • Story by SportsTalk Mississippi MSU Beat Reporter Brian Hadad 

    Mississippi State makes it five in a row in the conference with a lopsided victory over Tennessee

Once again, Mississippi State found themselves staring at a halftime deficit, and once again, Mississippi State dominated the final 20 minutes, this time shooting an incredible 69.2% from the field to take its fifth straight SEC win, 86-73 over Tennessee. The Bulldogs trailed by 6 at the break but outscored the Volunteers 58-39 in the second half, led by Reggie Perry’s 12th double-double of the season and DJ Stewart’s career-high 20 points. State improves to 14-7 on the season, 5-3 in the SEC.

PERRY DOMINATES AGAIN

It will not be surprising if Reggie Perry makes it two SEC Player of the Week awards on Monday, as he followed up his 27 point, 8 rebound showing at Florida with 24 and 12 at The Hump Saturday. State turned around that halftime deficit by getting to Perry early in the final half, and Perry was able to score or get fouled, where he shot 12-15 from the line. If Perry continues to play at this pace, it won’t just be player of the week honors he brings in.

WEATHERSPOON FINDING HIS WAY

Nick Weatherspoon’s return from a nearly year-long suspension was always going to make his return a process, but it seems the junior is now clicking on all cylinders. He put together another solid performance on Saturday, scoring 11 and doling out 9 assists with only 2 turnovers. For the week, his A/TO ratio is 17 to 3, and he said after the game he’s never felt more comfortable at the position. His ability to find his teammates has the Bulldog offense clicking, and his defensive prowess has never been in question. Weatherspoon has added another layer to Ben Howland’s team with his play in this five-game SEC winning streak.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Kentucky will take on Auburn Saturday in a top 25 showdown, then return home for Tuesday’s matchup with the resurgent Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 8 PM, and it will provide State with another opportunity for a quadrant one win.