Bulldogs Move To 2-0 Behind Thomas’ 17 Points
Miss. – A dominating second-half performance lifted the Mississippi
State basketball team to a 78-55 win against Kennesaw State Thursday
night at Humphrey Coliseum.
In the second half, the Bulldogs shot 53.3 percent from the floor and expanded a 35-31 halftime lead.
may have underestimated them to start the game,” MSU sophomore guard
Craig Sword said. “They got our attention early. We played a lot better
in the second half and got a good win.”
MSU improved to 2-0 on the
season with a dominating final stanza. MSU placed five players in
double figures and forced 26 turnovers.
“I think the players may
have got caught up the name of the opponent and their record and they
took things too lightly to start the game,” MSU head coach Rick Ray
said. “Kennesaw has some athletes. We just had to go out and grind. I
don’t think we came here tonight with the mind-set to grind for 40
“We are the type of team that has to grind for 40 minutes to be successful.”
3-point shooting allowed Kennesaw State to hold the early lead. A
3-pointer by Nigel Pruitt and follow-up basket by Yonel Brown placed
the Owls on top 18-14. The Bulldogs took the lead for good at 20-19 on
a free throw by Fred Thomas with 8:33 left in the contest.
by Roquez Johnson ran the lead to 27-21 with 6:14 left in the half.
Kennesaw State hung tough though and trailed only 35-31 at the break.
the second half, we had to defend a lot better,” MSU sophomore guard
Fred Thomas said. “In the first half, we lost our man too many times.
In the second half, we did a lot better job on defense and that is why
we were able to build a big lead.”
Dre Applewhite and IJ Ready
sparked a quick burst to start the second half. A spinning jumper in
the lane by Applewhite ran the lead to 42-33 with 16:04 left. A 10-3
run by MSU pushed the Maroon and White advantage to 52-41 with 11:07
MSU took advantage of strong second-half shooting and foul
trouble for Kennesaw State to push the lead to as many as 23 in the
“All around a solid effort,” Ray said. “We got some
really solid minutes off the bench from Dre (Applewhite) and Roquez
(Johnson). Gavin (Ware) only got four shots from the field. We have to
get him more touches. But for the most part, we played well, especially
on the defensive end.
“Sometimes we get too consumed with our offense.”
the contest, the Bulldogs hit 28 of 60 shots from the field (46.7
percent), 8 of 23 shots from 3-point range (34.8 percent) and 14 of 25
shots from the foul line (56.0 percent). The Owls hit 20 of 44 shots
from the field (45.5 percent), 6 of 17 shots from 3-point range (35.3
percent) and 9 of 17 shots from the foul line (52.9 percent).
teams were even at 33 in rebounds. MSU had 16 assists and 12 turnovers,
while Kennesaw State had 14 assists and 26 turnovers.
led MSU with 17 points, while Colin Borchert added 15 points, Craig
Sword added 13 points and Trivante Bloodman added 11 points. Ware fell
a point shy of his second double-double as he had nine points to go
along with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Kennesaw State was led by 15 points from Brown.