EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixes throughout
Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 21 points and his brother Nick Weatherspoon added 19 as No. 18 Mississippi State opened its season with a 95-67 victory over Austin Peay on Friday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.
Mississippi State led by 16 points at the half and poured it on late thanks to 57.8 percent shooting from the floor for the game and a solid defensive effort that forced 18 Austin Peay turnovers and limited the Governors to 39 percent shooting.
Tyson Carter added 12 points off the bench for Mississippi State, with Abdul Ado hitting for 11 and Aric Holman scoring 10 points and taking 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Steve Harris led the Governors (1-1) With 17 points off the bench, while Terry Taylor added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Dayton Gumm hit for 14, Chris Porter-Bunton had 11 points and Jabari McGhee pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Bulldogs led just 31-27 after a pair of free throws by Porter-Bunton with 4:37 to play in the first half but then reeled off a 14-3 run over the ensuing three minutes to push its advantage to 45-30, with Quinndary Weatherspoon hitting for five points over that stretch.
Mississippi State expanded its lead to 18 points after a dunk by Weatherspoon and a basket and a free throw by Holman before settling for a 50-34 advantage at halftime.
Weatherspoon led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, with Holman hitting for eight. The Bulldogs outshot Austin Peay 56 percent to 41 percent in the first half despite hitting on just 4 of 15 3-point attempts.
The Governors were paced by Taylor’s nine points over the first 20 minutes of play.
Austin Peay climbed back to within 10 points, at 60-50, on a jumper by Harris with 13:59 to play. But the Bulldogs roared off on an 11-1 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes to push the margin back to 71-51, making the final 10 minutes all but academic.
Mississippi State returns to the court on Sunday afternoon when it hosts Hartford. Austin Peay stays on the road when it plays at South Florida on Monday.
—Field Level Media