Aric Holman scored 28 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 27 as No. 19 Mississippi State routed visiting BYU, 103-81, in the final pre-conference game for both teams on Saturday.
The Bulldogs finished with their highest point total of the season, surpassing the 98 they scored in an 11-point victory against Wofford on Dec. 19.
State (12-1) begins SEC play when it visits South Carolina on Jan. 8. BYU (8-7) begins West Coast Conference play when it visits Pacific on Thursday.
Weatherspoon made 9 of 13 field goals, both of his 3-point attempts and all seven of his free throws. Tyson Carter scored 16 and Reggie Perry and Nick Weatherspoon had 11 each. The Bulldogs bench outscored the Cougars bench 30-14.
While State was compiling its highest point total of the season it was also holding BYU below its season scoring average of 84.8 points per game.
The Cougars shot just 43.3 percent from the floor (26 of 60) and 25 percent on 3-pointers (5 for 20). The Bulldogs shot 54.3 percent from the floor (38 of 70).
Yoeli Childs scored 25 to lead the Cougars, while TJ Haws had 14 points and Zac Seljaas contributed 13.
State led by 10 at halftime and BYU made little headway to start the second half. The Cougars got within eight points four times, but they couldn’t get any closer.
Weatherpoon and Carter each made a 3-pointer as the lead grew to 60-46.
The Cougars got within 10 points, but Holman made a layup and two 3-pointers to increase the lead to 71-53 and the Bulldogs kept expanding the margin.
BYU twice led by four points in the early going and the score was tied six times before State took the lead for good.
Quinndary Weatherspoon’s jumper broke the final tie and Carter made a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play during a 13-0 run.
Childs’ jumper ended the run and he added another bucket before Quinndary Weatherspoon heated up. He scored eight consecutive Bulldogs points and they took a 48-38 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media