Mississippi State sophomore guard Tyson Carter fixed an inconsistency in his shooting stroke and hopes the adjustment continues to pay off when the Bulldogs host Dayton on Sunday. Carter scored a career-best 35 points in Thursday’s 83-59 victory over North Dakota State that improved Mississippi State to 6-0 - its best start since the 2003-04 team began 13-0.
“After that first shot went down, I felt like I could have a big night,” Carter, whose previous high was 25 points in an 80-75 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 22, told reporters. “It goes back to my hard work in the gym. The arc on my shots had been a little off so that is what I have been working on. Things really felt good (Thursday).” Carter, who averages a team-most 15 points, was 12-for-17 from the field Thursday after going 1-for-7 in a 59-56 victory over Jacksonville State on Nov. 26 and 9-for-14 versus Stephen F. Austin. The Flyers had their 16-game home winning streak snapped with a 73-60 loss to Auburn on Wednesday, their first setback against an SEC team in the last seven contests. Dayton junior forward Xeyrius Williams (8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists per game) remains day-to-day after missing his second straight contest Wednesday, prompting Flyers senior guard Darrell Davis to tell reporters: “We’re missing him a lot. X is a big factor for our team, probably the X factor. We’re going to need him. Hopefully, he gets back soon.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, SEC Network
ABOUT DAYTON (3-3): Davis (19-for-38 from 3-point range) averages a team-high 19.7 points per game and reached a career best in minutes (39), and season highs for rebounds (six) and assists (four) versus Auburn. Junior forward Josh Cunningham (14.3 points) leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in rebounding at 10.3 after grabbing 11 before fouling out Wednesday. Freshman guard Jalen Crutcher had a potential breakthrough game against Auburn with season highs of 15 points and six rebounds in 33 minutes before fouling out.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-0): Junior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds per game) recorded a career-high 10 assists versus North Dakota State, raising his team-best average to 4.8. Freshman guard Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s brother, has scored 10 or more points in every game this season and averages 12 points. Sophomore guard Lamar Peters (12.3 points, 4.7 assists), who is currently suspended indefinitely, and junior forward Aric Holman (11.5 points, club-most 7.3 rebounds) are the Bulldogs’ other double-figure scorers.
1. Mississippi State improved to 29.4 percent from 3-point range - 311th nationally among the 351 Division I teams entering Saturday - after going 10-for-23 versus North Dakota State.
2. Dayton is 15-4 in its last 19 games versus the SEC, including victories at Alabama 77-72 and versus Vanderbilt 68-63 last season.
3. The Weatherspoon brothers are the only players to start every game for the Bulldogs this season. They are one of 29 sets of brothers nationally who are teammates.
PREDICTION: Mississippi State 79, Dayton 78