Weatherspoon nets Miss. St. last-second win vs. Dayton
Mississippi State squandered a 21-point second-half lead, but junior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon’s steal and layup with one second left lifted the Bulldogs to a 61-59 nonconference victory over Dayton on Sunday night in Starkville, Miss.
Dayton, which never led after the opening minutes, had the chance to take the final shot with the clock winding down. Senior guard Darrell Davis’ turnover with eight seconds left became Weatherspoon’s steal and the game-winning basket.
Sophomore guard Tyson Carter led all scorers with 20 points for the Bulldogs (7-0), who are off to their fastest start since 2003-04. That’s when Rick Stansbury’s Bulldogs opened 13-0 on their way to a No. 2 seed and a second-round upset loss in the NCAA Tournament.
Freshman guard Jalen Crutcher paced Dayton (3-4) with 18 points while Davis posted 17 points and 10 rebounds and junior power forward Josh Cunningham added 16 points. Crutcher, Davis and Cunningham combined for all 39 of Dayton’s second-half points.
Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo threw down a dunk at the 11:55 mark to pull the Flyers within 14-13, but the visitors scored just four points over the next 11 minutes. Mississippi State suffocated Dayton into 2 of 14 shooting and forced eight turnovers during that elongated stretch. When Aric Holman drilled a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left in the first, the Bulldogs owned a 35-17 lead.
Mississippi State pushed its lead all the way to 41-20 on Carter’s 3-pointer with 17:35 to go, but the Flyers gradually reeled in the Bulldogs. Davis triggered a rally with a 3-pointer and a four-point play before Cunningham and Crutcher started rolling. Davis fed Cunningham for a dunk with 12:11 left to pull Dayton within 46-40.
The Bulldogs slowed that rally, but the Flyers kept coming. Davis canned two free throws with 5:27 left to make it 53-50. Crutcher’s 3-pointer with 2:55 to play pulled Dayton even and marked the first time Mississippi State didn’t own the lead since a Crutcher 3-pointer gave Dayton a 6-5 lead just 1:42 into the game.
Dayton never managed to regain the lead, though, as the Flyers failed in their bid to make their record 16-4 in their last 20 games against SEC schools.