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Weatherspoon Brothers Shine In Win Against No. 22 Hogs 

Mississippi State rang in the New Year with a dramatic 78-75 win against No. 22 Arkansas in its SEC opener Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.


Quinndary Weatherspoon and Nick Weatherspoon each had 22 points to lead the Bulldogs. Abdul Ado added a game-high nine rebounds with four blocked shots.


A putback by Ado with 39 seconds left gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.


“That was an unbelievable game and a great win for our team,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “Arkansas has the type of team that could make a deep run in the (NCAA) Tournament. To somehow find a way with our backs against the wall, I’m very proud of the effort.


“We did a good job against the press. Seven turnovers in 40 minutes are huge.”

MSU (13-1, 1-0) had to overcome 60 percent shooting from the foul line and 19 percent shooting from 3-point range to snap a four-game losing streak in conference openers.


The contest was tight throughout with nine ties and 11 lead changes. The Bulldogs had to battle back from an eight-point deficit in the final 12:46.


The Bulldogs were held without a field goal for the first five minutes. However, the Maroon and White established early its desire to play with physical tenacity. The end result was a tremendous effort on the defensive end which kept the team in the contest.


MSU eventually pulled even at 11-11. The Razorbacks ran the lead to six at 20-14. The Bulldogs followed with seven straight points for a 21-20 lead on a basket by Quinndary Weatherspoon.


The lead switched hands a couple of more times before a basket by Nick Weatherspoon gave the Maroon and White a 32-30 halftime lead.


“We did a great job of getting to the line,” Howland said. “We drove to the basket and got contact. We just played a tough, physical game. Winning the (conference) opener against a ranked team is a good thing.”


Arkansas scored the first eight points of the second half for a 36-32 lead. The Bulldogs kept battling though. Ado brought the Bulldogs within two at 40-38. The Razorbacks followed with a 9-4 run for a 49-42 lead.


The Bulldogs eventually pulled even at 56-56 with a basket from Nick Weatherspoon with 8:58 left.


Still, a second-half lead was not gained until Xavian Stapleton made a pair of free throws for a 69-67 lead with 4:00 left. Back-to-back 3s by the Weatherspoon brothers tied the game at 75 with 1:20 left.


For the contest, MSU hit 25 of 59 shots from the field (42.4 percent), 4 of 21 shots from 3-point range (19.0 percent) and 24 of 40 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent). Arkansas hit 32 of 62 shots from the field (51.6 percent), 6 of 15 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 5 of 12 shots from the foul line (41.7 percent).


Both teams had 39 rebounds. The Bulldogs had nine assists and seven turnovers, while the Razorbacks had 17 assists and 13 turnovers.


Arkansas (11-3, 1-1) received 24 points from Daryl Macon, 17 points from Daniel Gafford, 11 points from Jaylen Barford and 10 points from Adrio Bailey. Barford had a team-high seven rebounds.


MSU resumes conference play with a Saturday road trip to rival Ole Miss. The Bulldogs and Rebels meet at 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.






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