Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 22 points as No. 18 Mississippi State defeated visiting Hartford 77-59 Sunday afternoon.
Tyson Carter came off the bench to score 14 points, Aric Holman scored 12 and Nick Weatherspoon added 10 for the Bulldogs (2-0).
Jason Dunne scored 17 and John Carroll added 16 for the Hawks (0-3).
The State bench outscored the Hartford bench 23-5 as the Hawks played just one reserve.
Hartford ‘s J.R. Lynch started the second-half scoring with a layup that trimmed Mississippi State’s lead to 43-31.
The Bulldogs responded with consecutive baskets by Nick Weatherspoon, Abdul Ado and Holman.
Carroll’s layup ended the run before consecutive baskets by Holman, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Reggie Perry gave Mississippi State a 56-33 cushion.
Eddie Davis III and Travis Weatherington each made a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a lift. Davis finished with five points as the only Hawks reserve to play.
Mississippi State rebuilt the lead to 66-44 before George Blagojevic made two baskets during a push that got Hartford within 70-55.
But the Bulldogs didn’t allow the lead to get any smaller down the stretch.
Dunne started the scoring with a 3-pointer and he followed with a layup for a 5-2 Hawks’ lead.
But Holman’s two free throws gave Mississippi State the lead for good, 6-5. That was part of an 11-0 run that ended with Nick Weatherspoon’s consecutive baskets giving the Bulldogs a 13-5 lead.
Weatherington ended the run for Hartford by making a jumper and he added a free throw before Mississippi State went on another run.
Holman’s 3-pointer pushed the margin to double figures as the Bulldogs took a 25-14 lead.
Quinndary Weatherspoon scored nine points and Lamar Peters added a 3-pointer for a 40-23 lead.
The Hawks crept within 11 points before Holman made a 3-pointer that sent the Bulldogs into halftime with a 43-29 lead.
—Field Level Media